Stimulus Package Includes Health and Welfare Benefits Relevant to Employers
Congress has passed, and President Biden has signed, the American Rescue Plan Act, 2021 (ARPA), the third COVID-19 stimulus bill. This new $1.9 trillion stimulus package includes several health and welfare benefits-related provisions relevant to employers and plan sponsors, including:
- Extending and Enhancing FFCRA Paid Leave
- Increasing the Dependent Care Assistance Program Limit
- Implementing Temporary Premium Tax Credit Enhancements
A detailed explanation of these changes can be found on our Legal Alert by clicking below.
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DICKERSON INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
New CA Law Makes It Easier to Get Mental Health and Substance Abuse Care
In making coverage decisions about mental health and addiction treatment, insurers frequently use their own criteria, not knowable to enrollees and not consistent with standards of care. A California law that took effect Jan. 1, SB-855, should make it much harder for state-regulated commercial health plans to do so. It requires them to use nationally recognized clinical standards established by nonprofit associations of clinical specialists to determine which mental health and addiction treatments they’ll cover — and for how long. It’s a very strong law, and it has the potential to really be a game changer. Click here for the details.
As Drug Prices Keep Rising, State Lawmakers Propose Tough New Bills to Curb Them
State legislators around the country are pushing bills to penalize drugmakers for unjustified price hikes and to cap payment at much-lower Canadian levels. These bills, sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats in a half-dozen states, are a response to consumers’ intensified demand for action on drug prices as prospects for solutions from Congress remain highly uncertain. Click here for details.
Modern Healthcare: Why Commercial Insurers See New Opportunity In ACA Exchanges
Larger and for-profit health insurers are the majority of payers increasingly expanding their footprint on Affordable Care Act exchanges, despite a general uncertainty. Cigna announced March 8 that it plans to double its geographic coverage on the individual market to 20 states by 2025. UnitedHealthcare and Aetna are also reentering the space, adding competition and choice to the market.