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Trump Signs Act Mandating Group Health Plans Cover COVID-19 Testing For Free

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On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) requiring group health plans to cover COVID-19 testing for free and without preauthorization.  This means no deductibles, no copays, and no coinsurance. 

More details regarding the changes employers are required to make are explained in our Employee Benefits Update of March 16, 2020 entitled “COVID-19 Employer Group Health Plan Changes to Help Employees.” One clarification that was made after publishing the Update is that that COVID-19 telehealth testing must also be provided for free.  Unfortunately, we still await relief on the telehealth/HDHP issue flagged in the Update. 

Now that FFCRA has been signed into law, employers must take action to make sure they comply with the free coverage requirements, and notify participants regarding these important changes. Some employers might decide to make additional voluntary changes to their group health plans.  See the Update for an explanation of some voluntary changes employers might make.   

Another Employee Benefits Update you might find of interest is entitled “COVID-19 and Public Company Executive Compensation Programs,” published on March 19, 2020.