As India struggles with COVID-19, manufacturers across the United States have stepped up to offer assistance and material aid.
The situation: India is grappling with a dangerous and extremely transmissible form of COVID-19, even as the country has struggled to inoculate large swaths of its population. As a result, hospitals across the country are straining to fulfill critical needs, and the situation has become dire.
The support: Many manufacturers have announced that they will provide critical assistance to response efforts in India, including the following:
- Raytheon Technologies donated four mobile oxygen trucks, working with the Indian Red Cross to get them to Delhi.
- Deere donated $2.7 million to provide urgent medical resources and health care infrastructure, working with United Way Mumbai.
- Pfizer sent $70 million worth of COVID-19 treatment medicines directly to India/Indian government to help fight the disease.
- Lilly donated 400,000 tablets of key medicine used to treat severe COVID-19 patients—and made new voluntary agreements to ramp up local manufacturing and distribution in India.
- UPS donated $1 million to India to fight COVID-19.
- FedEx is donating critical supplies to India and has donated $4 million to help nonprofit organizations reach underserved communities get COVID-19 vaccines.
- Samsung is importing 1 million Low Dead Space (LDS) syringes, which minimize the amount of drug left in the syringes after an injection.
- Boeing created a $10 million emergency assistance package for India to support the country’s response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
- LyondellBasell is donating $100,000 to the U.S. India Friendship Alliance to help the organization provide 250 oxygen concentrators to India’s hospitals and medical facilities.
In related news, the United States will donate 500 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to the world, according to Reuters (subscription). The donations will be distributed this year and over the first half of next year to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union, via the COVAX vaccine program spearheaded by the World Health Organization and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. The White House has also pledged additional direct aid to India, which is detailed here.
- The NAM has praised these efforts to accelerate vaccinations in India and the rest of the world, calling them a “powerful, effective way to improve vaccine access,” while preserving critical IP protections that made that innovation possible.
What we’re saying: “Manufacturers are deeply committed to the fight against COVID-19 in our communities, including here in the United States, in India and around the world,” said NAM Director of International Business Policy Ryan Ong. “The NAM is working directly with members and with partners like Good360 and SBP to provide critical relief where it is mostly badly needed and to help us all respond and recover from COVID-19 as we work toward a better post-pandemic world.”
ANN ARBOR, MICH. – The National Association of Manufacturers announced today that it will offer an association health plan to its members, extending affordable health care to small and medium-sized manufacturing companies and member associations in approved states. In states where the association health plan is not available, the NAM will connect manufacturers with available small-group options in their state.
“This association health plan is another step in our work to make the NAM a one-stop shop for manufacturing across the United States,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “With small and medium-sized businesses making up more than 90 percent of our membership, this plan will help provide health care and reduce uncertainty for workers and their employers across the country.”
The plan, called NAM Health Care (www.namhealthcare.com), was developed to meet manufacturers’ unique health care needs. It will offer a portfolio of health benefits options insured by UnitedHealthcare. In states where these plans are available, businesses with 2 to 99 employees will be able to choose from a variety of PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) and HSA (Health Savings Account) health plans. Members will also have access to UnitedHealthcare’s Choice Plus care provider network of more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare will work with any licensed or appointed agents who want to sell NAM Health Care.
In addition, Mercer will provide the NAM’s small business members with consulting services regarding health benefits offerings and contribution strategies, marketing support to educate and enroll their employees, plan administration and compliance services. The Mercer Affinity 365+sm platform will provide members technology for quoting, enrollment and ongoing benefits administration to drive cost efficiencies and facilitate employee engagement.
Association health plans allow companies to band together to manage and purchase health care coverage that may save on annual health insurance costs by providing plans that are typically enjoyed by larger companies at a competitive price. Under NAM Health Care, eligible member companies also will have access to supplemental benefits, including dental, vision and life.
“The work that manufacturers are doing every day grows the economy and strengthens our country, and they deserve the health care they need to do that job with certainty and support,” said Timmons. “At the NAM, we are proud to help lower costs and increase competitive health coverage for the men and women who make things in America.”
NAM Health Care is quoting these plans for eligible member groups for a Sept. 1, 2019, enrollment date. To enroll in these plans, where available, interested businesses may visit www.namhealthcare.com.