Category

Corona Virus

Federal Issue Coverage Plan for COVID-19 Vaccine & Treatments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials Wednesday issued insurance coverage rules designed to deliver on the promise that every American will have access to free COVID-19 vaccines when they are approved.

The regulations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, will also increase what Medicare pays hospitals for COVID-19 treatments. The changes arrive at a time when coronavirus infections are rising in much of the country, signaling a third wave that could eclipse the number of cases seen earlier this year.

Congress and President Donald Trump have already enacted legislation that calls for vaccines to be free, but the new rules were needed to align that policy with the many arcane payment requirements for public and private insurance

“CMS is acting now to remove bureaucratic barriers while ensuring that states, providers and health plans have the information and direction they need to ensure broad vaccine access and coverage for all Americans,” agency head Seema Verma said in a statement.
The rules aim to resolve potential legal issues over whether Medicare could cover a vaccine that receives “emergency use authorization” from the Food and Drug Administration. That’s a step short of full approval, and questions arose about whether Medicare could pay under its standard coverage policies.

Under Wednesday’s announcement:

— Seniors with traditional Medicare will pay nothing for COVID-19 vaccines, and any copays and deductibles are waived.

— The government will pay private Medicare Advantage plans to administer the vaccine to seniors. Enrollees will not be charged.

— Workplace and individual health insurance plans will cover the COVID-19 vaccine as a preventive service, with no cost sharing. The requirement applies to the vast majority of private plans, which are mandated to cover approved preventive care under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act — even as the Trump administration is trying to overturn that law at the Supreme Court.

— State Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance plans will have to provide vaccines for free for the duration of the coronavirus public health emergency.

— Doctors, clinics and hospitals vaccinating uninsured people will be able to get paid through a federal fund set up to assist health care providers under financial stress.

The regulations take effect immediately.

A White House-backed initiative called “Operation Warp Speed” seeks to have a vaccine ready for distribution in the coming months. The government is spending billions of dollars to manufacture vaccines even before they receive FDA approval, thereby cutting the timeline for delivery. Officials at the FDA have pledged that the program will not interfere with their own science-based decisions. Vaccines that do not meet the test for approval would be discarded.

View Full Article Here
https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-virus-outbreak-medicare-medicaid-726549a6f691da3f5e17161d53d56c1c

Thinking of Opening?

Thinking of opening? See a few guidelines that may help.

MONITORING EMPLOYEE HEALTH

How to stay safe and monitor employee health while also abiding by: EEOC/ADA regulations (equal employment opportunity/American with disability act)
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How to stay safe and monitor employee health while also abiding by: CDC* guidelines (*Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
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How to stay safe and monitor employee health while also abiding by: OSHA* regulations (*Occupational Health Act of 1970)
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How to stay safe and monitor employee health while also abiding by: HIPAA Privacy & Security
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Protect Yourself From COVID-19 Scams

You may already be taking steps to protect your health during the COVID-19 emergency. Be sure to also protect your identity from scammers by guarding your Medicare Number.

It’s easy to get distracted and let your guard down during these uncertain times. Scammers may try to steal your Medicare Number. They might lie about sending you Coronavirus vaccines, tests, masks, or other items in exchange for your Medicare Number or personal information.

Protect yourself from scams:

  • Only share your Medicare Number with your primary and specialty care doctors, participating Medicare pharmacist, hospital, health insurer, or other trusted healthcare provider.
  • Check your Medicare claims summary forms for errors.

More Info

Visit Medicare.gov/fraud for more information on protecting yourself from fraud and reporting suspected fraud.

Sincerely,

The Medicare TeamNote: You can learn more about COVID-19 and your Medicare coverage on Medicare.gov.

COVID-19 Updates Regarding Insurance

If benefits are needed. See the reference below.

Under the guidance, federal law permits significant flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19. For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where:

  • An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
  • An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
  • An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.

In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.

For more information, visit https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus