CMS Highlights the COVID-19 Vaccines That Must Be Covered


CMS has provided a chronological listing of FDA approvals and authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.

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HSA/HDHP Limits Increase for 2023


On April 29, 2022, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2022-24 to provide the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2023. The IRS is required to publish these limits by June 1 of each year.

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Positive Workforce Drug Tests Reach 20-year High


Recent drug test rates show that positive workforce tests from 2021 climbed to the highest level since 2001, according to a new analysis released by Quest Diagnostics, a leading provider of preemployment and post-accident drug and alcohol testing.

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DOJ Issues Guidance on Opioid Addiction and the ADA


On April 5, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidance on how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can protect individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) and other drug addictions from discrimination.  

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House Passes “SECURE 2.0” Bill


On March 29, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022 with a bipartisan vote of 414-5. The act is often referred to as “SECURE 2.0” because it builds on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019.

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Community colleges can deliver a vibrant future for Pennsylvania | Opinion


As Pennsylvania continues to grapple with disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the projected workforce shortage is alarming, especially in areas of critical need like education and health care. Pennsylvania lost 500,000 jobs in 2020. The state’s unemployment rate has been slow to recover. But, the leaders of Pennsylvania’s community colleges imagine a vibrant future for our state.

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DOJ Issues Guidance on Web Accessibility and the ADA


On March 18, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new guidance on web accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The new guidance describes how businesses that are open to the public and state and local governments can ensure that their websites are accessible to individuals with disabilities. 

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EOC Guidance on COVID-19 and Caregiver Discrimination


On March 14, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued 18 frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on employees’ work and personal obligations.

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HHS Highlights Federal Protections for Gender-affirming Care


On March 2, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance on federal civil rights protections and health privacy laws that apply to gender-affirming care. HHS highlights protections under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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DOL to Hire 100 Investigators, Signaling Potential Enforcement Increase


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced an initiative to add 100 investigators to its Wage and Hour Division (WHD)—a potential sign to employers that increased enforcement may be on the horizon.

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January Employment Report Shows Over 450,000 Jobs Added in U.S.


On Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its January employment report. Notably, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 467,000.

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Agencies Issue Guidance on Coverage of OTC COVID-19 Tests


On Jan. 10, 2022, the Depts. of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury issued FAQ guidance regarding the requirements for group health plans and health insurance issuers to cover over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 diagnostic tests.

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New Rule Requires Reporting of Medical and Prescription Drug Costs


On Nov. 17, 2021, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (Departments) released an interim final rule requiring health plans and issuers to report information regarding the cost of prescription drugs and certain medical expenses. This rule is a continuation of the Biden administration’s efforts to promote greater transparency in health care spending.

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Increased Civil Penalty Amounts for SBC, MSP and HIPAA Violations


Effective Nov. 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has increased the following key penalties affecting group health plans:

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Summary of the 2021 Employer Health Benefits Annual Survey


Each year, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducts a survey to examine employer-sponsored health benefits trends. This document summarizes the main points of the 2021 survey and suggests how they could affect employers.

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What Does the Broker Compensation Disclosure Rule Mean for Employers?


Transparency and shared expectations are gold standards of any successful business relationship. When it comes to a broker, employers should look for someone who keeps them informed about important issues related to their interests.

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Proposal for Fiduciaries to Consider ESG Factors in Plan Management


On Oct. 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a rule that would allow plan fiduciaries to consider climate change and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when they make investment decisions and exercise shareholder rights. Specifically, the rule clarifies the application of the fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) when selecting plan investments and exercising shareholder rights, including proxy voting.

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Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment Largest in Decades


Effective Jan. 1, 2022, Social Security recipients will see an increase in their monthly checks. Additionally, the cap on taxable income to help fund Social Security benefits will also be increasing.

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Impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on COVID-19 Vaccine Inquiries


On Sept. 30, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the application of the Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule on COVID-19 vaccination and the workplace.

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Affordability Percentages Will Decrease for 2022


On Aug. 30, 2021, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-36 to index the contribution percentages in 2022 for determining the affordability of an employer’s plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Perspective: New Alzheimer’s Drug is Projected to Increase National Health Expenditures by More Than One Percent


On June 7, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Aduhelm for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. While Biogen, the drug’s manufacturer, tested it on patients with mild cognitive impairment (of whom there are an estimated one to two million in the U.S.), the FDA approved its use more broadly for the more than 6 million Americans currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The drug is administered through intravenous infusion at an annual cost of $56,000 per patient – a non-retail expenditure that will be borne primarily by Medicare Part B.

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Where is the medical cost trend headed in 2022?


PwC's Health Research Institute (HRI) is projecting a 6.5% medical cost trend in 2022, slightly lower than the 7% medical cost trend in 2021 and slightly higher than it was between 2016 and 2020. Healthcare spending is expected to return to pre-pandemic baselines with some adjustments to account for the pandemic’s persistent effects.

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A message from our COO


To our PA Chamber Insurance Customers;

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PCI Welcomes Jason Benjamin


Pennsylvania Chamber Insurance is pleased to welcome Jason Benjamin, Benefits Consultant in the Lehigh Valley where he is responsible for service and retention of PCI’s existing insurance customers, and to affirm a customer-centric presence in the eastern region of the state.  He works in tandem with the PCI sales team to ease the transition for oncoming prospects to satisfied customers.  As a previous long-standing member of the PCI team, Jason returns after working with Kistler Tiffany Benefits.

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