Monday Roundup

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released a COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for health insurance issuers and Medicare Advantage plans. The toolkit’s purpose is as follows:

CMS is committed to ensuring that the private health insurance industry has the necessary tools to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). As safe and effective COVID- 19 vaccines become available, CMS issued this toolkit to help health insurance issuers and Medicare Advantage plans identify the issues that need to be considered and addressed in order to provide coverage and reimbursement for vaccine administration. Because COVID-19 vaccines will be federally purchased, this toolkit primarily focuses on vaccine administration. CMS remains available to provide technical assistance to issuers, Medicare Advantage plans, and other stakeholders. This toolkit:
• Provides a list of operational considerations for issuers and Medicare Advantage plans as they design their approach to promoting COVID-19 vaccinations and information on how issuers and Medicare Advantage plans can communicate with providers and enrollees on vaccinations and coverage;
• Outlines legislative and regulatory provisions applicable to issuers that ensure that enrollees can receive a COVID-19 vaccine in a convenient setting, with no out-of-pocket costs;
• Encourages issuers and Medicare Advantage plans to implement streamlined processes to quickly administer COVID-19 vaccine coverage; and • Describes how issuers and Medicare Advantage plans can maximize the number of their enrollees who get vaccinated once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available

Meanwhile the Centers for Disease Control have released facts sheets on what to expect after you receive your first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and how to improve ventilation in your house during the great hunkering down.

Benefits Pro reports that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is poised to release proposed rules addressing the level of incentives employers may lawfully offer to encourage employee participation in wellness programs that require disclosure of medical information. “

Because the {Americans with Disabilities Act] ADA and [Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act] GINA do not define “voluntary,” the NPRM proposes that in order to comply with the acts, employers may offer no more than a “de minimis” incentive to encourage participation in wellness programs. The exception would be for “wellness programs that are part of, or qualify as, group health plans and that require employees to satisfy a standard related to a health factor to receive a reward or avoid a penalty,” according to the proposed rule under the ADA.

Under the GINA regulation, the proposed rule makes an exception that would allow incentives for genetic information “when a wellness program offers an employee an incentive in return for his or her family member providing information about the family member’s manifestation of disease or disorder.”

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