Featuring authors from across our organization on various topics related to risk management and employee benefits, our blog is a great resource to help you stay informed.

Our Scott thought leaders provide content on a regular basis to elevate your thinking surrounding critical components of your company’s culture and overall performance.

CDC Announces Shorter Quarantine Guidelines After a COVID-19 Exposure

Edit 12/4/20: Please note that the CDC update indicates that local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last in the communities they serve, based on local conditions and needs. The CDC recommends that you follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine.

During a recent media briefing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an update to quarantine guidelines, offering options for shorter quarantine periods.

The CDC’s updated guidance allows for the following quarantine periods for those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but are without symptoms:

  • Ten-day quarantine period—An individual may end quarantine 10 days after exposure if the individual does not take a COVID-19 test.
  • Seven-day quarantine period—An individual may end quarantine seven days after exposure if the individual tests negative for COVID-19.

While offering these shorter alternatives, the CDC still recommends a 14-day quarantine as the safest option.   Continue reading

What The COVID-19 Self-Test Kit Means for Employers & Employees

On November 17, 2020, the FDA issued emergency use authorization (EUA) for the first self-test kit for COVID-19 that can provide rapid results at home with 94%-98% accuracy.

While Lucira’s single-use test is currently only available at Sutter Health in Northern California and the Cleveland Clinic in South Florida, it is expected to be available nationwide in early 2021. The test kit – estimated to cost around $50 – will require a prescription and all results must be reported to health authorities. Individuals over the age of 14 who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be able to self-administer the test and get results at home within 30 minutes. The test is also authorized for use in doctor’s offices, hospitals, urgent care centers and emergency departments for patients of all ages.   Continue reading

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Amazon Launches “Amazon Pharmacy”, An Online Pharmacy Store Implications across the PBM industry

From bookstores to cloud computing, Amazon keeps us guessing which industry they will disrupt next.  Amazon had their sights set on disrupting the retail pharmacy industry starting with their 2018 acquisition of PillPack, a mail order pharmacy which provides customized “daily dispensing” packs for patients taking multiple medications. On November 17, 2020, Amazon announced it is entering the pharmacy space with two new pharmacy products:  Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit and Amazon Pharmacy.  Amazon Pharmacy will provide customers the ability to order prescriptions through their platform and obtain delivery within days.

This announcement comes as many states begin to reinstate COVID-19 restrictions and more Americans look to receiving their medications via mail to avoid exposure. While this new offering provides consumers an additional access point to their medication, it is important to consider the implications across the pharmacy benefit industry.  Continue reading

2020 Presidential Election: Impacts on Employer-Sponsored Health Plans

With the major media organizations having now called the presidential election declaring former Vice President Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, we wanted to provide some forward-looking insights regarding the potential impacts to employer-sponsored health plans.

What does a Biden-Harris administration mean for employers and their employee benefits?

Although healthcare received an inordinate amount of attention during the Democratic primary and a good bit of discussion in the presidential debates, it isn’t on the list of the immediate priorities released by the Biden-Harris transition team over the weekend.  So, we don’t anticipate any immediate changes to the status quo.  Continue reading

How Insurance Carriers Use Crime Scores to Assess Risk in the Affordable Housing Industry

Many insurance carriers use third-party crime scores to evaluate their exposure to criminal risk when underwriting general liability insurance policies. At worst, a high crime score may preclude the owner of a multifamily housing complex from obtaining insurance coverage, and at best, a high crime score may result in higher premium costs. These underwriting practices are especially impactful to the affordable housing community because affordable housing may be in areas with higher crime scores when compared with traditional multifamily properties. Thus, affordable housing providers are highly likely to experience a loss of coverage or relatively high insurance premiums.  Continue reading