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Federal Legislation Passed in Response to COVID-19

The following are brief summaries of the provisions of most interest to community cancer providers in the COVID-19 relief bills passed by Congress. We encourage you to review the details with your human resource and finance teams.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Signed into law on June 5, 2020, text available here.
  • Extends the PPP program from June 30 through December 31, 2020.
  • Allows borrowers to spend loan dollars over 24 weeks rather than 8 weeks and still qualify for forgiveness.
  • Modifies the use percentages for full forgiveness from 75/25 to 60/40 (60% must be spent on payroll, 40% on rent/utilities).
  • Allows borrowers to take advantage of CARES Act employer payroll tax deferral (previously prohibited).

 

 

 

 

  • Signed into law on April 24, 2020, text available here.
  • Provides an additional $484 billion in COVID-19-related funding for the following programs:
    • $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, including $60 billion directed toward small, midsize, and community lenders
    • $60 billion for the Economic Injury Loan Disaster Fund
    • $75 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund
    • $25 billion for COVID-19 testing

 

 

 

 

  • Signed into law on March 27, 2020, text available here and summary here.
  • Provides $2 trillion in economic stimulus to businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19, including tax benefits, expanded unemployment benefits, and $150 billion to states, territories, and tribal governments.
  • Health Care:
    • Creates a Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, providing $100 billion for eligible health care providers to cover costs related to the crisis.
    • Temporarily waives the 2% Medicare sequester from May 1 to December 31, 2020; extends the sequester for one additional year (from 2029 to 2030).
    • Delays scheduled reductions in Medicare payments for clinical lab tests through 2021.
    • Removes previous requirement for providers to have a prior relationship with a patient for telehealth under Medicare.
    • Requires Medicare Part D plans to provide up to a 90-day supply of prescription medication if requested by a beneficiary during the COVID-19 emergency period.
    • Clarifies that doctors who provide volunteer medical services during the COVID-19 public health emergency have liability protections.
    • Reauthorizes health extender programs previously scheduled to expire on May 22, 2020 through November 30, 2020, maintaining the opportunity to address other health care priorities, such as drug pricing reforms, in must-pass health care legislation this year.
  • Assistance for American Workers, Families, and Businesses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Signed into law on March 18, 2020, text available here.
  • $3.5 billion package, expands access to testing, paid sick and family medical leave, unemployment insurance, and nutrition assistance.
    • Paid Leave
      • Requires employers of less than 500 people to provide employees with two weeks of paid sick leave, at the employee’s regular rate, to quarantine or seek care for COVID-19, and paid leave at a rate no less than two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate to care for a family member affected by COVID-19.
      • Amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to require employers of less than 500 people to provide up to 10 weeks of paid leave to eligible employees caring for their own child during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Employers of health care providers or emergency responders may elect not to extend this benefit to employees.
      • Both paid sick leave and paid family leave benefits are supported through a refundable tax credit program for employers. Both programs are temporary, going into effect 15 days after enactment and set to expire on December 31, 2020.
    • Temporarily Increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for eligible state Medicaid agencies by 6.2% during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Signed into law on March 6, 2020, text available here.
  • $8.3 billion package, provides support for vaccine development and domestic and global response efforts, including:
    • $2.2 billion for federal, state, and local public health agencies.
    • $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to prevent or treat COVID-19.
    • $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to support healthcare preparedness and improve medical surge capacity.
  • Emergency Telehealth Waiver: Allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to waive certain Medicare telehealth restrictions during the COVID-19 public health emergency, including enabling Medicare providers to furnish telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries in their homes.