In follow up to our previous posts, here are a few key updates related to the latest impacts on the Coronavirus for employee benefit programs.
- President Trump has signed the emergency legislation expanding FMLA and providing sick pay into law. The effects of the law go into effect 15 days from now, on April 2nd.
- Miller Johnson has released a brief summary of the bill and more importantly will be hosting a live webinar to review the impacts of the bill on Monday, March 23rd at 8:00 which we encourage you to register for here.
- We have had a number of conversations with clients, both with fully insured and self-funded plans wondering what the impact of Covid-19 claims will be on health plans. Will it lead to a bigger renewal increase for fully-insured plans or a spike in claims for self-funded plans? In the short-term the postponement of most elective procedures will have a positive impact on plans. According to this study, the average cost for an admission for pneumonia (a good analog for Covid-19) with major complications was approximately $20,000 (in 2018), and the average individual out of pocket cost was $1,400.
- If you are looking for an easy to digest review of recent clinical studies (through March 16th) on all things known about the Coronavirus, these 7 minute videos are worthwhile to watch:
- New England Journal of Medicine
- Journal of American Medical Association Part 1
- Journal of American Medical Association Part 2
Finally, if you feel like you are struggling to keep your head above water as a leader please know that you are not alone. There are many questions that simply don’t have answers yet. We’ve had numerous employers ask us how the new expansion of FMLA and sick time impact plans that were already in the works to terminate an employee(s) for example. Employers are struggling with how to structure layoffs, and frankly if this situation can be leveraged to gain some needed operational efficiencies. If you’d like to bounce any questions off of us, we welcome the discussion and will do all that we can to help.