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COVID swap being inserted into vial Neither the White House nor OSHA has announced whether employers must pay for weekly testing; however, OSHA’s current and past behavior reveals that it favors the idea of requiring employers to pay. (Photo: Shutterstock)

On September 9th, President Biden addressed the nation, announcing a six-point COVID-19 action plan to combat the current surge in COVID-19 cases, largely driven by the Delta variant. The plan includes a series of executive orders and instructions to federal agencies. In addition to requiring most federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated with no testing alternative, the plan calls for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue a rule mandating that health care workers in most health care facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid funding get vaccinated.

Most controversially, President Biden revealed his intention to require that all private-sector employers with more than 100 employees vaccinate their employees or have them submit to weekly COVID-19 testing. While this private sector mandate, if it survives inevitable legal challenges, will impose significant burdens on many employers, it will almost certainly also result in increased costs for their self-funded group health plans.

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