Coronavirus Resources for Businesses
Last updated April 28, 2020
General Coronavirus precautions:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap & water; if soap & water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based rub with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Good time to review policies & procedures affecting your workforce:
- Consider modifications and relaxing illness / absence policies
- Build flexibility around necessary business travel
- Give consideration to work-from-home requests
- Review business continuity planning / preparedness
- Promote telemedicine options for treatment, if available
- Safer at Home Order
- Commercial Insurance Considerations
- Employee Benefits Considerations
Safer at Home Order
Governor Evers has issued an Executive Order mandating that “all individuals present within the State of Wisconsin are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence,” with exceptions outlined in the Order. Individuals may leave their homes or residences only for the following functions as are defined in the Order:
- Essential Activities (defined in section 11);
- Essential Governmental Functions (defined in section 12);
- To operate Essential Businesses and Operations (defined in section 13);
- To perform non-essential Minimum Basic Operations (defined in section 14);
- Essential Travel (defined in section 15); and
- Special Situations (defined in section 8, 9, and 10).
All “Essential Businesses and Operations” are encouraged to remain open. All non-essential business and operations must cease, except:
- Minimum Basic Operations, as (defined in section 14), and
- Any operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own home or residences (i.e., working from home).
The Executive Order is effective at 8:00 am on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 and remain in effect until 8:00 am Tuesday, May 26, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued.
Commercial Insurance Considerations
The COVID-19 is creating complex and rapidly changing issues on many fronts - your commercial insurance policy and it's response in the event of a claim included.
Commercial insurance policies vary by industry, individual business characteristics, and location. Please refer to your policy language for your specific coverages. Everyday we're in communication with clients and insurance company partners as Coronavirus issues evolve. Some of the most common issues our Commercial Insurance Consultants are discussing are Workers Compensation scenarios, potential business interruption concerns, event cancellations, and strategies to mitigate financial impacts as well as the protection of employees, customers, and the general public.
If a claim, or potential claim, needs to be reported, report it as quickly as possible. Please contact us and we can help you review your current commercial insurance policies that may be impacted - we have on-staff loss prevention resources and experienced claim professionals to help walk you through the process.
Employee Benefits Considerations
Families First Coronavirus Response Act - effective April 1, 2020
On March 18th, the President signed into law the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” which applies to employers with less than 500 employees and is effective April 1, 2020. Bottom line on top, the Act provides for the following:
- Requires small employers (those with fewer than 500 employees) to provide emergency paid sick leave and family leave to employees dealing with the impact of COVID-19.
- Caps the amounts to be paid to employees while also making them 100 percent reimbursable to the Employer via tax credits.
- The Act also currently requires group health plans and health insurance issuers (fully-insured and self-funded) to cover COVID-19 testing without imposing any cost sharing (such as deductibles, copayments or coinsurance) or prior authorization or other medical management requirements.
Additional Compliance Awareness
The IRS has issued an emergency ruling (Notice 2020-15) allowing flexibility to HSA-eligible HDHPs (high-deductible health plans) to provide health benefits for testing and treatment of COVID-19 without application of a deductible or cost sharing. An individual with an otherwise HSA-eligible HDHP that covers these costs may continue to contribute to a health savings account (HSA).
Additional compliance considerations:
- Employer’s duty to provide employees with safe workplace conditions under OSHA’s “General Duty Clause”
- EEOC’s latest guidance regarding ADA’s restrictions
- Remote work planning for any employees within the HIPAA “firewall”
Health Insurance Company Updates
Effective immediately, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to cover COVID-19 testing without any cost sharing (such as deductibles, copayments or coinsurance) or prior authorization or other medical management requirements. This coverage mandate applies to the following health plans and issuers, regardless of grandfathered status under the Affordable Care Act (ACA):
- All fully insured group health plans
- All self-insured group health plans
- Health insurance issuers offering group or individual coverage
During this public health emergency, health plans and issuers must cover FDA-approved diagnostic testing products for COVID-19, including any items or services provided during a visit to a provider (in-person or telehealth), urgent care center or emergency room that relate to COVID-19 testing. This coverage cannot be subject to any plan deductible, copayment or coinsurance.
This coverage mandate does NOT require health plans and issuers to cover COVID-19 treatment at no charge. Exact coverage details for COVID-19 treatment, including any cost-sharing amounts, will vary by plan. More details are provided regarding expanded coverage for related office visits, telehealth, early prescription refills, and other services at the following websites:
- Aetna COVID-19 Coverage
- Anthem COVID-19 Coverage
- Arise COVID-19 Coverage
- Cigna COVID-19 Coverage
- Dean COVID-19 Coverage
- Group Health Cooperative COVID-19 Coverage
- HealthPartners COVID-19 Coverage
- Humana COVID-19 Coverage
- Network Health COVID-19 Coverage
- Prevea360 Health Plan COVID-19 Coverage
- Quartz COVID-19 Coverage
- UnitedHealthcare COVID-19 Coverage
- WEA Trust COVID-19 Coverage
- WPS COVID-19 Coverage
This information is changing rapidly so be sure to check for information with your carrier or call a knowledge broker.
Stop Loss Carrier Updates
The following websites provide some information about stop-loss coverage related to COVID-19:
Short Term Disability (STD) Carrier Updates
Claims for short term disability (STD) will follow the provisions set forth in the group policy to determine coverage as any other diagnosis. In general, if an individual is quarantined without a diagnosis of COVID-19, the episode would not be covered as a short term disability claim. However, upon diagnosis of COVID-19, the episode would be covered as a short term disability claim after the required elimination period per the policy has been met. The following websites provide some carrier-specific information related to STD: