COVID-19 has brought both health and economic crisis to the United States, while also creating many difficulties for employers across all industries. Health and leave benefits, plan operations, employee communications and financial forecasting are all now found more difficult to manage due to COVID-19 implications, especially considering new political and public health regulations. Planning for your business is now more complicated than ever, and the team at Unity Insurance is here to help you navigate this new planning territory. Here, the insurance providers at Unity Insurance discuss the top compliance issues to look out for when planning health and leave benefits to protect your business during such a vulnerable time.
Review the Current State Mandates & COVID-19 Regulations
In order to properly provide employees with adequate coverage, employers should review mandates that are currently in place for group health plans, which outline the relief packages that may still be in place due to COVID-19. Depending on the particular company or employer, some may decide to continue certain benefits after the mandated coverage period, while others may not. Regardless, it is crucial to keep an open form of communication between the employer and the plan participants. It is important to remember that many employees have been working virtually for quite some time now, so developing a plan to transition back to a safe and healthy work environment will be beneficial for the entire company. The safety and health of the workplace should not just relate to following COVID-19 protocols, but to also acknowledge diversity and inclusion goals of your employees, especially in light of the recent racial protests and civil rights protections for LGBTQ employees.
Additionally, employers should review state laws regarding group health plans. Some state plans that could affect employers include PBM regulations, health plan reporting and assessments, as well as extended telemedicine laws. It is also critical to evaluate current paid leave mandates for your state, as well as implement any emergency measures regarding COVID-19; this could include sick, disability, parental and family leave.
Regularly Monitor Compliance Agreements with Outside Vendors & Hospitals
Federal and state developments are always changing or developing regarding prescription drug costs and coverage. Monitoring and reviewing new payment models and design plans will allow employers to evaluate how these changes will impact prescription drug benefits. Reviewing transparency rules for hospitals, as well as public hospital prices, will also allow employers to ensure compliance with these rules for group health plans and insurers. Additionally, employers should regulate tech vendor compliance, especially all of those who have access to health and welfare plan data. Any breach or violation could implicate HIPAA laws, so employers should be sure to monitor mobile apps, artificial intelligence, and other wellness and transparency tools.
Consult With an Insurance Provider at Unity Insurance To Ensure Your Business’ Compliance
COVID-19 has left such an impact on businesses everywhere, making it difficult and complicated for employers to manage their health and welfare plans for employees. With the added stresses from the pandemic, as well as the uneasy economic climate, managing the benefits for your business is not something you should have to endure alone. The team of qualified and experienced professionals at Unity Insurance and MedChi are by your side throughout the entire process, keeping you up to date on all current regulations and adjustments, ensuring your business is adhering to compliance changes. To consult with an insurance broker or learn more about how our team can assist you with managing your business’ insurance, contact us today.