H.R. 6201 – Families First Coronavirus Response Act, 2020
- The President signed H.R. 6201, the second Congressional response to the novel coronavirus disease(COVID-19) pandemic, into law on March 18, 2020.
- This bill provides $64 million to be appropriated into the Indian Health Services Account.
- It provides coverage of testing for COVID-19 at no cost-sharing for American Indians and Alaska Natives, regardless of where those services have been authorized.
- $10 million was set aside for Grants for Indian Programs within the Older Americans Act (OAA). These grants are the primary vehicle for providing nutrition and other direct support services to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian elders.
In continued response to the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19, on March 18, 2020, the second stimulus plan, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201, was signed into law. This bill provides paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expands food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requires employers to provide additional protections for healthcare workers through emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020.
H.R. 6201 GENERAL PROVISIONS
Nutrition Programs. H.R. 6201 includes $250 million for the Senior Nutrition program in the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to provide approximately 25 million additional home-delivered and pre-packaged meals to low-income seniors who depend on the Senior Nutrition programs in their communities. This bill also provides additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program flexibilities; $500 million to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; $400 million to assist local food banks to meet increased demand for low-income Americans during the emergency; and Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requirement waivers.
Coverage of Testing for COVID-19. This bill requires private health plans to provide coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, including the cost of a provider, urgent care center, and emergency room visits in order to receive testing. Coverage must be provided at no cost to the consumer.
Emergency Paid Leave Benefits. The bill provides for paid emergency sick leave for certain absences related to COVID-19. It also amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide up to 12 weeks of leave “because of a qualifying need related to a public health emergency.” The cost of this paid leave is offset by employer tax credits.
H.R. 6201 TRIBAL PROVISIONS
Funding for Indian Health Service. H.R. 6201 appropriates $64 million into the Indian Health Services Account.
Coverage of Testing for COVID-19 (Sec. 108). This bill provides coverage of testing for COVID-19 at no cost-sharing to American Indians and Alaska Natives, regardless of where those services have been authorized.
Elder Nutrition Programs. H.R. 6201 set aside $10 million for grants for Indian Programs within the Older Americans Act (OAA). These grants are the primary vehicle for providing nutrition and other direct support services to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian elders.