Seyfarth Synopsis: On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate voted 90-8 to approve HR 6201 without changes. The law generally takes effect no later than 15 days after HR 6201 is signed (expected soon) and would sunset on December 31, 2020.
In somewhat of a surprise move, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to adopt HR 6201 (described here and here) without change. The President is expected to sign the bill shortly, meaning its provisions go into effect no later than fifteen days from signature date.
We understand many employers have already been approached by their third-party administrators asking for their consent to adopt these changes. In fact, many employers are considering waiving cost-sharing for all COVID-19 treatment (not just treatment relating to the screening). If employers have not yet been contacted by their TPAs, they should consider reaching out.
Further, employers should consider how the plan design change needs to be made. In our experience, it is not uncommon for companies to delegate legally required changes to a sub-committee or to HR professionals. Depending on the plan’s amendment procedures, it may be possible to amend the plan by issuing a “Summary of Material Modifications.”
Congress has already announced its intention to quickly take up another COVID-19 relief bill. We will monitor for the potential impact on plan sponsors and keep you apprised.