COVID-19 and US Health Insurance: New Regulatory Directives – Stafford Act – State of Emergency

    View Author March 2020

    On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic a state of emergency, invoking section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (Stafford Act).1 On January 31, 2020, Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) Alex M. Azar II declared COVID-19 a public health emergency in the United States. The Stafford Act declaration has several implications in terms of escalating the federal government’s response, and this alert serves as a guide to assist our clients with understanding those implications.