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 companies must ensure they are informed about benefit changes before they take effect.
How an HR Consulting Solution can Help Employers Navigate Health Benefit Changes Post-COVID
With the end of the COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency declarations on the horizon, employers must evaluate what changes will be made to their offered health benefits. This transition period can be daunting for employers. By engaging an HR consulting solution with a team of experienced and certified professionals, companies can better navigate these changes.
An HR consulting solution can provide employers with the expertise needed to make informed decisions about their health benefits. They can help evaluate the impact of the changes, determine when plan changes will be effective, and identify any special enrollment opportunities for employees and family members who were previously eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. HR consultants can also provide support to ensure employees are informed about benefit changes prior to them taking effect.
How an HR Consulting Solution Can Help Manage Benefit Deadlines
As health benefits change post-COVID, HR professionals will also need to consider how deadlines to make key health decisions by participants may be impacted. An HR consulting solution can help HR professionals manage these deadlines and ensure employees have the information they need to make informed decisions about their health benefits.
An outsourced HR department can provide ongoing support for your organization’s HR responsibilities, including recruitment coordination, onboarding, HRIS and recordkeeping, HR compliance, talent management, benefits administration, and off-boarding. With their help, HR professionals can effectively manage benefit deadlines and ensure employees have a smooth transition to any new benefit offerings.
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.