Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) participated in two health care-related Congressional hearings today.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing examined the COVID-19 response and lessons learned to address mental health and substance use disorders.
To ensure the large plan sponsor voice was included in the conversation, ERIC submitted written testimony highlighting what employers have done before and during the pandemic to help employees access mental health, behavioral health, and substance use disorders. We also proposed policies for Congress to consider and pushed back on some dangerous penalty regimes and mandates.
ERIC also provided guidance to the House Ways and Means Committee, Health Subcommittee, during its hearing on charting the path forward for telehealth. The hearing focused on what telehealth policies should be made permanent from the pandemic and those that should end when the public health emergency concludes.
ERIC’s written comments focused on the need for enabling telehealth to be provided as a standalone benefit and enact permanent solutions to interstate licensure. We also called for making permanent the allowance to offer 1st-dollar coverage of telehealth in a high-deductible health plan.
ERIC will continue to work closely with members on both committees to enact meaningful legislation to meet the needs of millions of working Americans.
Click here to watch ERIC’s previous testimony before the House Committee on Education and Labor. ERIC’s James Gelfand testified about how the pandemic has impacted employers’ ability to provide workforce benefits that address mental and behavioral health issues –including opioids mitigation – and how employers have pivoted to telehealth for treatment and prevention.