State and Federal Updates

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HHS Announces:  Insurance Companies and Group Health Plans to Cover the Cost of At-Home COVID-19 Tests.  Effective January 15, 2022, over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic tests (authorized, cleared, or approved by the FDA) will be covered. Insurance companies and health plans are required to cover 8 free over-the-counter at-home tests per covered individual per month. A family of four, all on the same plan, would be able to get up to 32 of these tests covered by their health plan per month. There is no limit on the number of tests, including at-home tests, that are covered if ordered or administered by a health care provider following an individualized clinical assessment, including for those who may need them due to underlying medical conditions. CMS has provided an FAQ with additional information.

Maryland General Assembly Convenes Today! The MGA gaveled in a few minutes ago and will be in session for the next 90 days. MACS will be closely monitoring bills and providing you with regular updates. Mark your calendars for the House DDA budget hearing, the MACS breakfast, and DD Day! (We are still waiting on the date for the Senate hearing).  LOTS more to come!

Supreme Court Heard Oral Argument on OSHA ETS Vax or Test Mandate: The Court heard argument last Friday on the OSHA ETS and another of the Biden Administration’s mandates. Based on the questions asked by the Court’s conservative justices (who make up the Court’s majority) regarding whether OSHA has the authority to issue such a sweeping private sector mandate, some legal experts are anticipating that the Court will block enforcement of the ETS. Nothing will be certain until we have the written opinion.  Stay tuned—the Court’s opinion is expected soon. 

Reminder: the OSHA ETS is currently in effect! The compliance date for all but the testing requirements was January 10, 2022. The testing compliance deadline is February 9th. Employers should be “exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard. OSHA will work closely with the regulated community to provide compliance assistance.” We encourage you to consult with your counsel about your compliance status.