Happy May everyone! It’s been quite an interesting month thus far with wild weather changes, continued work and travel restrictions, etc. Hopefully all have been able to navigate through the various rules and have remained safe and well.
Yes, the COVID-19 Virus continues to be the main topic of discussion and activity on Capitol Hill as you know. But, NAHU remains extremely active behind the scenes per the following:
- Speaker Nancy Pelosi has unveiled the $3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act. Although it is considered dead on arrival in the Senate, the massive legislation contains several provisions that impact the health insurance market that may find their way into future legislation.
- During the 2nd week of May, the IRS released two sets of guidance (Notice 2020-33 and Notice 2020-29) that address some of the Section 125, FSA and HSA requests that NAHU made last month. Although the guidance is limited, there are actions being taken by Congress and the Administration to build on this new guidance.
- In the latest installment of NAHU’s COVID-19 webinar series, Kara Govro, senior legal editor at NAHU partner ThinkHR, addressed the compliance aspects of layoffs, furloughs and recalls to help employers navigate these difficult decisions. Kara also answered live HR questions about COVID-19 related issues impacting small businesses. If you were not able to watch it live, you can follow the link’s in the May 15th Washington Update.
- The COVID-19 crisis complicates the enforcement of multiple laws, including HIPAA, the ADA, and EEOC. How do employers uphold these regulations while taking basic safety measures like monitoring their employees’ health? Register now for the next installment in our COVID-19 webinar series on Thursday, May 21, to find out.
As mentioned last time, anyone interested in learning more about the Paycheck Protection Program can watch Compliance Corner member and CEO of MZQ Consulting Jennifer Berman and Daniel Martini, vice president of Congressional relations and political affairs at the American Bankers Association use their expertise to review the PPP in detail on the NAHU site.
(Again Note: if interested in a position on NAHU’s Legislative Council or one of their many legislative working groups, applications for the Legislative Council and legislative working groups are live. Check out NAHU.org site to apply.)
Additional discussions are taking place currently on a way to possibly provide additional financial relief to both employers and individuals.
As reported previously, NAHU’s coalition opposing single payer and the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, continues to spread this message via advertising through both television and digital media, underscoring the perils of adopting a single-payer or Medicare-for-All type plan.
And NAHU also continues to work on: COBRA as creditable coverage, Prescription Drug transparency, return to a 40-hour work week rule, changes to Medicare Advantage plans, employer reporting improvements, MLR exclusion, etc. Inroads are being made on all the above so stay tuned.
State House Update
Study Summer Committees are in process of being formalized. A change to LTC Partnership Plans will theoretically be assigned to a Study Committee and if so this will be followed closely over the Summer.
Social Distancing regulations still currently in place continue to prevent political fund raisers, political party events, one on one meetings, etc. Even Political debates for the upcoming Primary Election on June 2nd are being done virtually at this point. How this will affect results is yet to be known.
As normal, Bose Public Affairs (ISAHU lobbyist) continues to assist on keeping ISAHU updated.
As I like to mention every month, the prevention of onerous Bills making it through the Legislature is due largely to ISAHU’s continued relationships with folks in the Governor’s office, Lt. Governor’s office and Statehouse that support our industry overall. These relationships also directly impact the efforts of our ISAHU Lobbying firm – Bose Public Affairs, plus the efforts of our sister organizations – Big I, PIA, NAIFA, Insurance Institute, IMA, IN Chamber and NFIB. And it also affects the ongoing efforts of several ISAHU members who continue to work on maintaining such working relationships with Legislators that may impact support for any legislation of assistance or detriment to the industry.
Nothing new to report this month.
The Legislative committee continues to reconfirm new and previously identified specific individuals to be responsible for various product areas of the industry which should lead to better information sharing on an ongoing basis. It continues to be updated and will be distributed when completed.
NAHU staff continue to be a vital part of ongoing discussions with the 116th Congress. Details are provided in the Washington Updates each Friday. Please be sure to read them which will assist you in responding to your client’s issues.
As always, I would ask you to remember to thank the countless NAHU members around IN and the Country as a whole that continuously put in long hours to ensure the best information possible is being shared with Legislators, HHS, CMS, IRS, DOL, DOI’s and of course other NAHU members. As you know, much of this is always done in anonymity and solely for the benefit of the Association, our members and the general public.
And as always – ongoing THANKS to all the Local Legislative Chairs and other members who serve on the Legislative Committee as well as those that serve on other committees. Your service is vitally important and greatly appreciated.
On a personal note, the Legislative Committee is in preparation of transitioning the Chair responsibility over to Susan Rider effective July 1st. She has served as the Co-Chair for the last 2 years. I will remain an active member of the committee and become her Co-Chair for the coming Association Plan Year.
Ongoing simple message – IF you are not participating in both PAC’s – HUPAC – our Federal PAC and ISAHU-PAC – our State PAC, then PLEASE do so! Both PAC’s help support activities that really do make a difference in the ongoing legislative battles. Information can be found on the www.HUPAC.org , www.nahu.org and the www.ISAHU.org sites.
I and the rest of the ISAHU Legislative Committee greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with you to continue to promote real market based “healthcare reform”. Please feel welcome to contact any of us at any time.
Thanks for all you do to continue to improve the healthcare system for your clients and the general public!
And to end this report, hoping and praying all – you, your families, your clients and the general public stay safe and healthy during this ongoing COVID-19 health issue.
Dwight “D” Hall
ISAHU Legislative Chair