Welcome to the WBD News Flash, your weekly highlight of HR benefits and healthcare news. Weekly, we will provide you with the top trending industry news stories in healthcare, human resources, legislation, benefits technology and administration, and more. Make the WBD News Flash your go to reference for current events!

Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine Returns to Clinics

After an eleven-day pause on using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson-made Covid-19 vaccine, U.S. health officials have allowed it to go into use again throughout the United States. More than a dozen states paused administering the shot while researchers looked at a possible link between rare blood clots and the vaccine. The side effect was tracked in fifteen women out of the nearly eight million people given the shot. Federal officials now say the vaccine remains critical to the fight against the pandemic, but encourage younger women to consider the J&J shot along with alternatives Moderna and Pfizer.

Insurers Begin to Drop Covid Treatment Waivers

Deductibles, copays, and coinsurance payment for Covid-19 treatment could be on the way for many insured Americans. While waived throughout 2020 by most insurers, the costs of Covid-19 care are slowly being turned back over to the patients. UnitedHealth, Aetna, and Humana’s job-based group coverage have all allowed their Covid-19 waivers to expire. With the substantial cost of hospitalization and treatment for Covid-19 infection, patients could be in for sticker shock if they’re on the hook for care that was on the house just a few months ago.

Biden Administration to Boost ACA Outreach Spending

In an effort to get more people covered with health coverage, the Biden administration will provide federal marketplace navigators with $80 million in funding. The huge year-over-year increase is the largest amount of money ever marked for navigators. In return, HHS is looking for increased outreach, education, and enrollment assistance. HHS is also looking to boost Hispanic American participation in health coverage, as the Hispanic population is both disproportionally underinsured and impacted by the pandemic. The special enrollment period for the ACA is open until August 15.

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