What measures have been passed for public health emergency?
COVID-19 free diagnostic testing
How are costs paid for? Insurers will need to pay the healthcare providers for these services, and Congress will pay for testing uninsured individuals. The
Insurance coverage on COVID-19 vaccine and preventative services
Public and private insurers are to cover qualified COVID-19 preventative services. When a successful COVID-19 vaccine is developed, insurance plans are required to cover a portion of the vaccine cost. This cost will be paid by insurers, who will work with healthcare providers in determining a payment and patient cost-sharing for possible COVID-19 vaccine and other preventative services.
Paid sick leave of two weeks for individuals that are unable to work due to COVID-19
Employees that are unable to work due to COVID-19, their employers must provide two weeks of paid sick leave. These employees include individuals that have been self-quarantined by a healthcare provider, federal or state quarantine, individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking medical diagnosis, someone caring for and individual that may have COVID-19, and those providing child care due to school and daycare facilities being closed.
Paid sick leave due to COVID-19 will be subsidized by payroll tax credit for affected employers, and this includes self-employed individuals.
Paid family leave expansion for emergency child care due to COVID-19
The existing Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been expanded to cover for paid leave for emergency child care due to school and daycare facility closures. The Family and Medical Leave Act expansion will be subsidized by payroll tax credit for affected employers with 50 or more employees and self-employed individuals.
Recovery rebates for individuals
Direct payments in the form of a tax rebate will be received by individuals that earn less than $99,000 per year. The amount of rebate depends on income level and family size. If an earning reported is less than $75,000 on tax returns, the rebate amount will be $1,200 or $2400 for couples who filed taxes together. If income is greater than $75,000, rebate amount is reduced by 5% of the amount made greater than $75,000. The recovery rebate amount has been allocated by Congress.
The CARES Act increased unemployment benefits by $600 a week, and has extended the duration of unemployment insurance till July 31, 2020. This means that individuals such as freelance workers that are not sick, and are unable to work due to COVID-19, will also qualify for unemployment assistance.
Loan programs available for small businesses
Many programs have been established by the CARES Act to provide emergency funding to small businesses that have been impacted due to COVID-19. Small businesses can get loans to pay their employees under the Paycheck Protection Program. A forgivable loan up to $10,000 is available under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program to applicants that qualify.