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Human Resources

The End of the COVID-19 National Emergency and Public Health Emergency

By Accounting Resources May 17, 2023

On January 30, 2023, the Biden Administration announced its plan to end the COVID-19 National Emergency and Public Health Emergency (PHE) on May 11, 2023. This leaves companies with many issues to consider as they prepare for the next phase of the pandemic. Here are some topics you should review:

Effect on Health Plans

After the PHE concludes, health plans will no longer have an obligation to provide COVID-19 diagnostic tests and associated services without cost sharing. However, health plans must continue to cover recommended preventive services, including COVID-19 vaccinations, without cost sharing. It’s important to note that this coverage requirement will only apply to services received from in-network providers.

Furthermore, once the COVID-19 outbreak period ends, health plans can revert to their original deadlines for HIPAA special enrollment, COBRA continuation coverage, and procedures related to claims and appeals.

Action Required:

  • Review your current benefits plan. The ARI Human Resources team is happy to assist with your review and provide recommendations to address impact to employees.
  • Communicate with your employees about these changes and how they may be personally impacted.

CDC Guidelines

As the guidance surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, new variants emerge, and vaccination rates change, we recommend that companies stay informed about the latest guidelines and recommendations from reliable sources, such as the CDC. These sources provide up-to-date information on best practices for preventing the spread of the virus and protecting the health of employees.

Action Required:

  • Companies should regularly check the CDC website for updates. The ARI HR Team can assist with the interpretation of any changing regulations.

Local Regulations:

In addition, it is essential for companies to consider state- and county-specific rules and regulations. Different regions may have their own guidelines and requirements, including mask mandates, capacity limits, and testing protocols. By staying informed and aligning your policies with both national guidelines and local regulations, you can ensure you are implementing effective measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and maintain a safe working environment.

Action Required:

  • Review your state and county-specific rules regarding COVID-19. For example:


Company-Specific Guideline Policies:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies implemented their own policies and protocols to protect the health and safety of their employees. These measures included various strategies such as remote work arrangements, enhanced cleaning procedures, social distancing measures, mask requirements, and vaccination policies. While these company-specific guidelines were largely based on the prevailing recommendations from health authorities like the CDC, it is important for companies to regularly revisit and update their policies as guidance evolves.

Action Required:

  • Review company-specific policies that were created during COVID-19 and decide if they should be changed based on CDC guidelines. Examples of these policies are:
    • Vaccination Requirements – Will the company continue to mandate vaccinations?
    • Mask Policies – Masks are no longer required unless an employee has been exposed to COVID-19 or has recently been sick with COVID-19; please refer to the CDC for specific guidelines.
    • Remote Work Policies – Does the company have a remote work policy in place that may require adjustment?
  • Edit any policy/procedure documents affected by the policy change.
  • Communicate with employees about these changes and the impact to them.

As this change takes effect, the ARI Human Resources Team is here to help you interpret guidelines and regulations, to review your current polices and revise policies as necessary, and to answer any questions you may have. If you would like to learn more about how we can help support your business, contact us.

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