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This article is for parents and caregivers who are concerned about COVID-19 in their children and teens. It compiles expert guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provides helpful links that may be of use to caregivers.

CHILDREN AND TEENS CAN GET COVID-19

While fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, get sick from COVID-19 and spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Like adults, children who have COVID-19, but have no symptoms (asymptomatic), can still spread the virus to others.

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Legal Update Header On March 23, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is extending access to a special enrollment period (SEP) through Exchanges on the federal www.HealthCare.gov platform due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Originally available through May 15, 2021, the extended SEP provides three additional months for enrollment, allowing eligible individuals to enroll in Exchange coverage through Aug. 15, 2021.

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Vaccinations are a critical way to keep yourself and the public at large healthy.

However, vaccinations often come with questions, particularly for new diseases. This article helps answer some of those questions, compiling expert guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Before Getting Your Vaccine

It’s important to know whether the COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for you before making any further decisions. This CDC webpage explains who should be vaccinated first. Use the link to see the specific rollout timeline for your state, as it will vary by location. It’s also worth doing a little research on the available vaccines, including how they work and their benefits.

News Brief header President Joe Biden recently announced that he is directing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to purchase an additional 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The White House had announced earlier in March that drugmaker Merck & Co. will help produce competitor Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine to expand its production and supply. The administration invoked the Defense Production Act to get two Merck facilities up to the standards necessary to safely manufacture the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. However, it will take months to fully equip these plants.

The foods and beverages you consume have a significant impact on your health. Diet-related chronic diseases—such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer—are prevalent among Americans and pose a major public health problem.

In fact, 60% of adults have one or more diet-related chronic diseases. Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture publish nutrition advice. The newest version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020-2025) offers science-based nutrition advice to develop healthy eating habits and reduce chronic disease risk. For the first time, this edition provides recommendations by life stage, from birth through older adulthood.

5 telehealth trends to watch header Employers that are interested in cutting their health care expenses are likely familiar with telehealth.

This is the process of communicating with a doctor via an app, or a webcam and computer. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth usage skyrocketed, making it one of the most popular ways to receive health care. As such, employers should stay apprised of notable telehealth trends to ensure they stay competitive and provide the best health care options to their employees. This article discusses five telehealth trends to watch for in 2021.  

Legal Update Header On Feb. 18, 2021, the IRS released Notice 2021-15 to clarify special rules for Section 125 plans, health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs).

Temporary Special Rules for Health FSAs and DCAPs

The Notice is intended to clarify the application of special rules for health FSAs and DCAPs provided under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA).  

News Brief header The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released an analysis that found that Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective.

According to the FDA, the vaccine meets requirements for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The vaccine, developed by Janssen Biotech Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has been found to have 72% efficacy in the United States, while proving less effective in Latin America and South Africa, where a highly contagious variant is behind most new cases. The vaccine has also demonstrated 86% efficacy against severe forms of COVID-19 in the United States, with 82% against severe outcomes in South Africa.

HR Insights Blog Header Making COVID-19 vaccination part of your workplace wellness program may offer benefits to you and your employees.

To aid in keeping their workplace healthy, employers can consider offering free, onsite COVID-19 vaccinations at work locations. This HR Insights article provides an overview of guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for workplace vaccination programs. As of this writing, vaccine programs are not yet available to many employers, depending on the type of organization and guidance from local officials.