The National Association of Health Underwriters has been keeping informed about COVID-19 (coronavirus). Below are links to updates on legislation, regulation and guidance on both the federal and state levels in response to COVID-19. Please visit the coronavirus information section of the NAHU website for more resources.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced the House could roll out CARES 2.0 this week, which she claims will not create "new territory" but rather "dig deeper" to address existing needs in the U.S.
  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that the chamber will return to the District when the next coronavirus relief bill is ready for a vote on the floor.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) again said state and local aid must be tied to business liability protection but made it clear he is not "ruling that out," in response to calls for additional coronavirus legislation.
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released a plan consisting of four strategies to safely reopen Congress and "restore America's voice" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure rural hospitals can keep up with the cost of providing care amid the outbreak.
  • Senators Kelly Loefller (R-GA) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced legislation to help more veterans receive telehealth care.
  • Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) introduced legislation to extend the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program for an additional five years, ensuring these essential hospitals do not face further budget instability during such challenging times.
  • Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ed Markey (D-MA) announced the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, which would drastically expand economic impact payments to most individuals.
  • Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced a proposal to tie unemployment insurance benefits to economic conditions.
  • Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) blocked Senator John Kennedy's (R-LA) legislation aimed at providing state and local governments with more flexibility with spending coronavirus relief funds.
  • Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Angus King (I-ME) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced the Coronavirus Relief Fund Flexibility Act, which would replace revenue shortfalls resulting from the pandemic.
  • Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), along with other senators, introduced the Small Business Expense Protection Act, which would clarify the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program rules so small businesses can deduct expenses paid with a forgiven PPP loan from their taxes.
  • Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced their bipartisan, bicameral Ensuring Understanding of COVID-19 to Protect Public Health Act.
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced the Emergency Medical Supplies Procurement Act to require the Trump Administration to respond to state requests for healthcare supplies using special authorities such as the Defense Production Act.
  • Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill to boost federal investment in American research and development, including vaccine research.
  • Senator Angus King (I-ME) introduced legislation that outlines a specific, responsive framework for a coronavirus response by federalizing the supply chain for critical medical supplies and equipment that includes oversight procedures to maintain integrity.
  • Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced a $75 billion housing assistance fund to target areas hit hardest by coronavirus and unemployment.
  • Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Quality Care for Nursing Home Residents and Workers During COVID-19 Act.
  • Speaker Pelosi indicated that in CARES 2.0, the House plans to include Representatives Anna Eshoo's (D-CA) and Susan Brooks' (R-IN) bipartisan legislation to create a national strategy to end U.S. dependence on foreign manufacturing of lifesaving drugs.
  • Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), along with a group of bipartisan members, introduced legislation to enhance the employee retention tax credit.
  • Representatives Linda Sánchez (D-CA) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) introduced the Coronavirus Frontline Workers Fair Pay Act, legislation to establish a hazard pay program for high-risk healthcare professionals and other essential workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.
  • Representative Al Lawson (D-FL) introduced a provision in H.R. 6321 that prohibits debt collection, repossession and garnishment of wages during the pandemic.
  • Representative Don Beyer (D-VA), along with Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), released a draft framework for the Worker Relief and Security Act, legislation that would tie ongoing expanded unemployment benefits to the public health emergency and economic conditions.
  • In a Fox News town hall, President Trump claimed the next coronavirus relief bill must include a payroll tax cut.
  • President Trump is making a payroll tax cut the centerpiece for future coronavirus legislation, but he is receiving pushback from Republican and Democratic members alike.
  • While the White House and Democrats in both chambers signaled support for a second round of stimulus checks, Republican senators have expressed opposition to the proposal.
  • The Treasury Department is allowing employers to remain eligible for claiming the Employee Retention Credit on their tax returns while continuing to provide health insurance to their furloughed employees.
  • The IRS updated and issued new FAQs regarding the Employee Retention Credit.
  • The Treasury Department released a new interim final rule for the Paycheck Protection Program on nondiscrimination and additional eligibility criteria.
  • The Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, released an updated version of the Paycheck Protection Program Loans FAQs, which added guidance regarding loan forgiveness, seasonal workers and rural hospitals (Questions 40-43).
  • In addition, the SBA, in consultation with Treasury, updated the Paycheck Protection Program Loans FAQs, specifically the agencies extended the repayment date for safe harbor to May 14, 2020.
  • CMS issued a final rule that continues the Administration's efforts to promote affordability, improve consumer choice, ensure program integrity and increase market stability.
  • CMS released an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period, building on the agency's efforts to give the American healthcare system maximum flexibility to respond to the pandemic.
  • CMS announced equitable relief for Medicare Part A and B enrollment in the wake of COVID-19.
  • Track where all 50 states stand on reopening here.
  • HHS, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, awarded nearly $583 million to 1,385 HRSA-funded health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and eight U.S. territories to expand COVID-19 testing.
  • The Department of Labor responded to specific state requests seeking assistance to administer changes to unemployment insurance programs made by the CARES Act and the Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • CMS issued additional FAQs to aid state Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program agencies in their response to the pandemic.
  • NAHU has released COVID-19 State Fact Sheets that provide info on adopted social-distancing measures, health-policy action to reduce barriers to testing and treatment, and legislation that has been introduced in response to COVID-19. They can be found on the Coronavirus Information page under "State Resources."
  • COVID-19 has impacted states' CE and licensing requirements. Review this list of states to see if and how your state may currently be impacted. NAHU continues to provide superior online learning through the Online Learning Institute.
  • Track the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. 
  • The latest installment of the COVID-19 webinar series featured Legislative Council Vice Chair and Director of Compliance for Kistler Tiffany Benefits Scott Wham, who shared his experiences and best practices for common issues he has encountered in a region hit hard by COVID-19. Watch it here.
  • The next installment in our webinar series will be on Friday, May 15. Join us as Kara Govro, senior legal editor at ThinkHR, addresses the compliance aspects of layoffs, furloughs and recalls to help employers navigate these difficult decisions. Kara will also answer your live HR questions about COVID-19 related issues impacting small businesses. This webinar will be open to all brokers and their clients. Make sure to share the registration link with any of your clients who may be facing concerns about how to classify their employees at this time and how that could affect employee benefits. Register here.