When Mental Health is a Family Affair

Emerging research suggests the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on the mental wellbeing of young people. Uncertainty about the duration of the pandemic, concerns about vulnerability to infection, continued physical distancing measures, and social and economic upheaval is driving increased anxiety and emotional stress for children and young adults. The research shows particular increases in clinginess, irritability, and fear in younger children—along with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and substance use in adolescents.

COVID-19 Employee Benefits Compliance Timeline

This year has brought forth significant regulatory & legislative changes due to COVID-19. Hays’ Research and Compliance Team has put together a COVID-19 Employee Benefits Timeline that highlights the rules and regulatory changes that you can use as a quick reference employer tool.

FAQ: COVID-19 Vaccination Myths and Facts

Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccinations work by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, which protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.

Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you do not have an increased risk of developing severe complications. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

The Lasting Impact of COVID-19 by Generation

As we progress into 2021, the pandemic’s far-reaching implications continue to unfold. Every individual is unique, but trends have begun to emerge for large populations and by generation.

The pandemic has made drastic shifts in many people’s financial lives. Roughly 20 million Americans stopped contributing to their retirement savings during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing and Vaccine Coverage for Group Health Plans

On February 26, 2021, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) issued a new set of FAQs addressing the obligations of health plans and issuers to provide benefits for certain COVID-19 related-services. FAQ Part 44 further expands upon and clarifies recent guidance issued by the Departments regarding requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Update: COVID-19 & The Role of Employers

COVID-19 vaccines have arrived and while supplies remain limited, it is expected that more doses and more vaccine options will be available throughout 2021. Employers are thinking through how best to prepare and support their employees from health and safety, educational and legal perspectives. This updated paper examines the current state of COVID-19 vaccines and identifies the areas employer plan sponsors will need to contemplate as vaccines become more widely available. It is important to note that the data and the opinions reflected in this paper are captured at a point in time and could change rapidly in the current environment.

Updated Guidance: COBRA, HIPAA and Claims Timeframes

Last April’s EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01 provided extensions for certain deadlines for COBRA, HIPAA, and claims filing timeframes, effective March 1, 2020. Under the extension, the affected timelines were “paused” until the earlier of the end of the “Outbreak Period” (60 days after the COVID-19 national emergency was declared over) or one year (February 28, 2021).

Considerations for Double Masking to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be transmitted from person-to-person by respiratory aerosols (airborne liquid droplets and dried particles). Infected people produce these aerosols while talking, singing, coughing, breathing, or sneezing. Some of the larger droplets settle to the ground in a few minutes, whereas the smaller droplets can remain in the air for several hours. Masks are a simple barrier to help prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others. Studies show that masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.