On Jan. 30, 2023, the Biden Administration announced the COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency declarations were ending on May 11, 2023. These declarations implemented measures to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on businesses and employees.
As the end of these declarations approaches, employers must evaluate what changes will be made to their offered health benefits. For example, plans will no longer be required to fully cover diagnostic testing, including over-the-counter tests, but they can choose to do so going forward.
Also, many plans will still cover COVID-19 vaccines at no cost to employees if administered by an in-network provider, however, the requirement to cover out-of-network COVID-19 vaccines will lapse in most cases at the end of the COVID-19 emergency.
Additionally, employees and family members may not have enrolled in employer health plans because they were eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but that coverage may be ending. If so, there could be special enrollment opportunities to participate in employer-offered plans.
It will be important for employers to determine:
• How health benefits will be impacted
• When plan changes will be effective
• How deadlines to make key health decisions by participants may be impacted
These are all critical topics for employees, and it is imperative for companies to ensure they are informed about benefit changes prior to them taking effect.
How BlueStone Services’ HR Outsourcing Team Can Help
We strive to help our clients improve their processes and free up their time so they can focus on what they do best. For items like this, BlueStone clients can connect with an HR expert on an as-needed basis to discuss the impact of employment law policy changes and advise on employee relations issues. Our hourly rate packages make it simple for you to select the right amount of time needed for your objectives. Need more support beyond compliance implementation advice? Work with us to take care of ongoing, day-to-day human resources operations. To learn more about how we can tackle your HR compliance or jump-start outstanding projects, contact us.