House HEROES Act Includes Key Health Care Provisions for Employers

May 15, 2020

The House HEROES Act could substantially impact COBRA subsidies and a complicated risk corridor program for self-insured employers.

Specifically, the HEROES Act would, among other things:

  • Subsidize 100% of COBRA coverage for former employees for nine months and require additional COBRA notice requirements;

  • Create a “risk corridor” program for self-insured and fully-insured employer health plans for 2020 and 2021 that would subsidize 75% of the increase in plan costs over 105% of the previous year;

  • Prohibit balance billing for COVID-19 testing and treatment, but require reimbursement for the claim be negotiated with the provider; and 

  • Increase the carryover amount for Flexible Spending Accounts to $2,750 for unused benefits or contributions in 2020.

Outlook: While the House bill has no chance to pass the Senate, several health care provisions could make it into the final legislation that will be negotiated over the next 45 days.