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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Brokers

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Brokers

Your clients rely on you for their health insurance needs and we’re here to support you through the uncertainty and change created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team of experts taps into a myriad of carrier and industry sources and synthesizes the results to deliver digestible daily updates that impact your clients.

Extensive COVID-19 news is organized below into broad categories to help you stay educated. To learn more, download our user-friendly COVID-19 Carrier Response Guides, and check out our frequently asked questions meticulously organized by Reopening & Returning to Work FAQs, COVID-19 Carrier FAQs, and COVID-19 Legislation & Regulations FAQs. If you can’t find an answer to your question, contact our experts at COVID@claremontcompanies.com.


The COVID-19 Broker Resources are organized into the following categories:


Upcoming COVID-19 Broker and Employer Events


Latest COVID-19 Carrier Responses

To stay on top of all the latest COVID-19 carrier responses and quickly identify how each carrier is helping to keep employees covered, provide relief to employers, and expand coverage, click on a topic below or view our easy-to-use COVID-19 Medical and Ancillary Carrier Response Guides.

Medical Carrier Responses

Keeping Employees Covered

Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for previous waivers?

Blue Shield of California 1-100

Yes, through 9.30.20. Effective date 10.1.20 latest.

Covered California for Small Business

Yes, through 6.30.20. Effective date 7.1.20 latest.

UnitedHealthcare

Yes, through 4.13.20. Effective date 4.1.20.

Off-anniversary plan changes?

Blue Shield of California 1-100

Yes, through 9.30.20. Effective date 10.1.20 latest.

Covered California for Small Business

No.

UnitedHealthcare

Yes, separate rules for existing and new members, and for single vs multi-options plan designs.

Add lean plan option?

Blue Shield of California 1-100

Yes, through 9.30.20. Effective date 10.1.20 latest.

Covered California for Small Business

No.

UnitedHealthcare

Yes, separate rules for existing and new members, and for single vs multi-options plan designs.

Coverage in event of furlough/ reduction in hours?

Blue Shield of California 1-100

Yes, per the terms of the group service agreement.

Covered California for Small Business

Yes, temporary as long as premium is paid.

UnitedHealthcare

Yes. If the EE is on an ER-approved leave of absence/furlough and the ER continues to pay premium, the coverage will remain in force for:

– No longer than 20 consecutive weeks for non-medical leaves (i.e., temporary laid off)

– No longer than 26 consecutive weeks for a medical leave

Coverage may be extended if required by local, state or federal rules.

Relief for Employer Groups

New group submission deadline extensions?

Blue Shield of California 1-100

Yes, last business day of effective month. Effective dates 4.1 – 7.1.20.

Covered California for Small Business

Yes, 15th of the effective month. Effective dates 4.1 – 7.1.20.

UnitedHealthcare

Yes, last business day of effective month. Effective date 4.1.20.

Grace period for premium payment?

Blue Shield of California 1-100

No change. 30 day grace period.

Premium Payment Plan for April, May and June premium payment. Provides extended grace period.

Covered California for Small Business

60 day grace period for April and May premium payment.

Premium Deferral Program for April and May premium payment. Provides extended grace period.

UnitedHealthcare

No change. 30 day grace period. Will review on a case-by-case basis.

Credit card for premium payment?

Blue Shield of California 1-100

No.

Covered California for Small Business

No.

UnitedHealthcare

No.

Renewals & re-certification?

Blue Shield of California 1-100

All re-certifications waived for April, May, June and July renewals.

Covered California for Small Business

No change. No re-certifications at renewal.

UnitedHealthcare

Re-certifications will continue.

Rehires and waiting periods?

Blue Shield of California 1-100

Standard rules apply.

Covered California for Small Business

No change. Employer specified waiting periods apply.

UnitedHealthcare

Waiting periods waived for COVID-19 rehires.

Employee apps in event of no signatures?

Blue Shield of California 1-100

Signatures required. E-signatures accepted.

Covered California for Small Business

Signatures required. E-signatures accepted.

UnitedHealthcare

Signatures not required through SAM.

Coverage Extensions & Clarifications

COVID-19 costs waived?

Blue Shield of California 1-100

All testing and treatment, physician authorized.

No pre-authorization required.

Through 9.30.20.

Covered California for Small Business

Refer to individual carrier.

UnitedHealthcare

All testing and treatment, physician authorized.

No pre-authorization required.

Through 7.24.20.

Pharmacy

Blue Shield of California 1-100

Early refill limits waived.

90-day supplies of maintenance medications
available through mail-service pharmacy CVS Caremark.

No fee mail service available through CVS Caremark.

Free home delivery available through several pharmacy chains.

Covered California for Small Business

Refer to individual carrier.

UnitedHealthcare

Early refill limits waived.

No fee mail service available for Optum Rx members.

Free home delivery available through several pharmacy chains.

Telehealth

Blue Shield of California 1-100

Teledoc costs waived through 9.30.20.

NurseHelp 24/7 always available at no additional cost.

Telemedicine through network providers is a covered benefit.

Covered California for Small Business

Refer to individual carrier.

UnitedHealthcare

All COVID-19 and in-network, non-COVID-19 telehealth costs waived. Expiry dates vary by type of provider and type of visit. Contact us for specifics.

Emotional/ Behavioral/ Mental Health Services

Blue Shield of California 1-100

Tele-behavioral benefits same as in-person visits.

Teledoc cost-waiving extended to behavioral health.

Sanvello, mental and wellness health app, in Wellvolution.

Virtual Wellvolution programs such as nutrition and fitness support.

LifeReferrals 24/7 EAP to fully insured large groups (101+).

Covered California for Small Business

Refer to individual carrier.

UnitedHealthcare

In-network tele-behavioral costs waived.

Free 24/7 emotional support line from Optum Health.

Free on-demand emotional support mobile app from Sanvello.

Ancillary Carrier Responses

Keeping Employees Covered

Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) for previous waivers?

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

Case-by-case basis.

Beam Dental

Case-by-case basis.

Choice Builder

Yes, open through 4.10.20, 4.1.20 effective date.

Humana

No.

MetLife

Case-by-case basis.

Principal

No.

Reliance Standard

No.

Coverage in the event of furlough/reduction in hours?

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

Yes:
– full premium payment by the employer.
– only actively-at-work employees may be added to the plan as new enrollees.

Beam Dental

Yes:
– full premium payment by the employer.
– furloughed employee(s) was active on 3.1.20.

Choice Builder

Yes:
– full premium payment by the employer.

Humana

Yes
– full premium payment by the employer
– effective through 5.31.20.

MetLife

Yes:
– full premium payment by the employer.
– for 12 months from the date of the furlough
(for group life, dental, AD&D, vision, accident & health, and legal coverage.)

Principal

Yes:
– furloughed/ laid-off on or after March 1, 2020, through May 31, 2020, may continue coverage for 90 days
– provided premiums continue to be paid.

Reliance Standard

Yes:
– full premium payment by the employer for 60 calendar days.

Waiting period waiver for re-hires?

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

Yes, for employees rehired within 6 months.

Beam Dental

Case-by-case basis.

Choice Builder

Yes, waiting period definition at discretion of employer group.

Humana

Yes.

MetLife

Yes:
For Group Life, AD&D, Accident and Health, Dental and Vision: if rehired within 6 months.
For disability coverage: if rehired within 3 months.

Principal

No.

Reliance Standard

No.

Relief for Employer Groups

Grace period for premium payment?

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

Yes, 60 day grace period.

Beam Dental

Yes, 60 day grace period for April and May invoices.

Choice Builder

Case-by-case basis.

Humana

Yes, 60 day grace period.

MetLife

Yes, 90 day grace period.

Principal

Yes, 60 day grace period.

Reliance Standard

Yes, 90 day grace period.

Extended new business submission deadlines?

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

Case-by-case basis.

Beam Dental

Yes, 15th day of the effective month.

Choice Builder

Yes, the usual 15th day of the effective month.

Humana

Yes:
4.10.20 for April effective dates.
5.12.20 for May effective dates.

MetLife

Case-by-case basis.

Principal

Contact Claremont.

Reliance Standard

Case-by-case basis.

Renewal rate pass?

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

Delta Dental has previously announced a 2020 rate pass for all PPO and DeltaCare USA plans.

Beam Dental

Case-by-case basis.

Choice Builder

Contact Claremont.

Humana

Yes, for dental & vision. Rate pass for 6.1.20 through 9.1.20 renewal dates.

MetLife

Yes, for groups <500 employees. Rate pass for 6.1.20 through 9.1.20 renewal dates.

Principal

Yes, for groups <500 employees. Rate pass for 5.1.20 through 8.1.20 renewal dates.

Reliance Standard

Yes, for groups <500 employees. Rate pass for 5.1.20 through 8.1.20 renewal dates.

Premium Credits for Employers

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

Nothing announced.

Beam Dental

Nothing announced.

Choice Builder

Nothing announced.

Humana

Nothing announced.

MetLife

Employers with fully insured dental PPO plans will receive a premium credit on a future bill in the amount of 25% for the months of April and May, 2020.

Principal

Fully-insured dental groups (both contributory and voluntary) will receive a 10% premium credit on their June through October 2020 invoices.

Reliance Standard

Nothing announced.

Credit card for premium payment?

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

No.

Beam Dental

No.

Choice Builder

No.

Humana

Yes, for one-time monthly payments. Not for recurring automated payments.

MetLife

No.

Principal

No.

Reliance Standard

No.

Off-anniversary plan/contribution changes?

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

Case-by-case basis.

Beam Dental

Case-by-case basis.

Choice Builder

Yes, for employers a one-time ‘mid-plan year’ change to contribution or plan. For employees, a one-time ‘mid-plan year’ plan downgrade with the same carrier.

Humana

Case-by-case basis.

MetLife

The usual case-by-case basis.

Principal

The usual case-by-case basis.

Reliance Standard

No.

Applications in event signatures can't be obtained?

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

Case-by-case basis.

Beam Dental

Yes, several options.

Choice Builder

Contact Claremont.

Humana

Yes, online.

MetLife

Yes, eSignatures.

Principal

Yes, eSignatures.

Reliance Standard

Contact Claremont.

Coverage Extensions & Clarifications

Disability pandemic exclusion?

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

No, COVID-19 evaluated the same as any medical condition.

Beam Dental

N/A

Choice Builder

N/A

Humana

N/A

MetLife

No, COVID-19 evaluated the same as any medical condition.

Principal

No, COVID-19 evaluated the same as any medical condition.

Reliance Standard

No, COVID-19 evaluated the same as any medical condition.

Tele-dentistry coverage?

Allied Benefit Suite & Delta Dental

Yes.

Beam Dental

Yes.

Choice Builder

Ameritas: yes.

Anthem: yes.

Delta Dental: yes.

MetLife: yes.

Humana

Yes.

MetLife

Yes.

Principal

Yes.

Reliance Standard

Yes.


Carrier Resources and Website Links

Blue Shield of California

Teladoc $0 cost-sharing benefit extended through September 30, 2020
Teladoc services with no cost-sharing include both health and behavioral health. Also available to members who do not have Teladoc as a plan benefit.

Extended New Business Submission Deadlines
The new group submission deadline has been extended for April, May, June, and July effective dates. Groups must be submitted by the last business day of the group effective month.

Premium Payment Plan Program
A flexible premium payment plan option for employers whose April, May or June 2020 premium payment is delinquent. Premium Payment Plan Program FAQs.

Special Enrollment Period
Employees and their dependents who have previously waived coverage can enroll in coverage through June 30, 2020.

Down-grade Plan Options
One-time buy-down plan change outside a group’s annual enrollment period is available through June 30, 2020. For details, see FAQ #7.

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment
Blue Shield is extending cost sharing waivers (co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles) through September 30, 2020, for COVID-19 testing and treatment.

For Brokers

For Members

Chinese Community Health Plan (CCHP)

Choice Builder

Claremont Behavioral Services (EAP)

COVID-19 Resource Center
Numerous helpful resources on emotional and mental health during the pandemic.

Covered California

Delta Dental

Health Net

Member Coronavirus Resources
Latest news for members.

Humana

  • Employer COVID-19 FAQs
    Provides information on waived COVID-19 testing costs, waived telemedicine costs, early prescription refills, and member support line. Also provides information for employers on reduced participation, billing, premium grace periods, and re-hire waiting periods.
  • Small Business Resource Guide
    Resources and information to help businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Member Coronavirus Resources
    Includes best practices, expanded coverage and benefits, and FAQs.
  • Member FAQs
    Answers to questions on symptoms, how to stay healthy, coverage, and travel.

Kaiser Permanente

MetLife

Oscar

Principal

  • Dental Premium Credit
    Fully-insured dental groups (both contributory and voluntary) will receive a 10% premium credit on their June through October 2020 invoices.
  • PPE Payments to In-Network Providers
    A $7 payment for PPE will be paid to in-network providers with each member dentist visit from June 1 through December 31, 2020. This payment will help offset the additional expenses for dental offices to maintain up-to-date infection control procedures and to reduce the risk of exposure to members. Additionally, this payment may help decrease member out-of-pocket costs.
  • Rate pass for all groups under 500 lives for May 2020 – August 2020.
  • COVID-19 Advisor Site
    For all COVID-19 information and resources.
  • Insurance Solutions News & Resources Archive
    Topics by product line, including group benefits.
  • PPP Expense Tracker
    To help businesses document their expenses in order to maximize Payroll Protection Program loan forgiveness.
  • SMB Customer Insights & Resources
    Insights from Principal’s panel of small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and industry research.
  • Managing Uncertainty
    Includes information on how Covid-19 applies to Principal insurance coverage.
  • Insurance Coverage and COVID-19
    Answers to common employer and employee concerns.

Reliance Standard

Sharp Health Plan

Member Coronavirus Resources
Coronavirus FAQs for members.

UnitedHealthcare


Coronavirus News Impacting Brokers and Employers

Also visit our Reopening and Returning to Work FAQs.

  • Health officials demand major Bay Area private hospitals, clinics ramp up Coronavirus testing (SF Chronicle).
  • Trump signs new law relaxing PPP Rules: What You Need To Know (Forbes).
  • Blue Shield of California extends member cost-sharing waivers for COVID-19 treatment and Teladoc Health’s virtual care service through September 30, 2020 (Blue Shield).
  • Governor Newsom eases reopening requirements for California counties (SF Chronicle).
  • California Governor Newsom announces a plan for Stage 2 reopening (gov.ca.gov, SF Chronicle).
  • DOL temporarily extends COBRA deadlines.
  • City of San Francisco allows employees in San Francisco to use funds their employer has contributed in compliance with the Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) for necessary expenses (SF City Option, Press Release).
  • President Trump signs latest Coronavirus relief legislation. Includes an additional $310 billion in funding for the Payroll Protection Program (CNBC).
  • The California Dental Association (CDA) recommends that dentist offices voluntarily suspend non-urgent or non-emergency dental care due to COVID-19 concerns. Dental plan members that require immediate care due to a dental emergency should contact their dental office.
  • IRS publishes FAQs on the Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act.
  • President Trump signs the new $2 trillion Coronavirus relief bill (CBS, CNN).
  • The US Department of Labor publishes Q&As on the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Claremont HR partners Mammoth HR and HR Services, Inc. both provide resources to help employers implement the law’s new requirements.
  • SBA updates Small Business Guidance to include information on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, SBA Express Bridge Loans, and updated Guidance for Business and Employers.
  • CAHU creates a COVID-19 web page to help brokers with links to useful state and federal resources.
  • IRS issues federal income tax filing and payment relief for individuals and businesses with April 15 filing dates.
  • California DOI provides guidance for the insurance industry on how to interpret the term “Essential Businesses” in the recent California “shelter-in-place” order.
  • Governor Newsom announces California statewide “shelter-in-place” order impacting all residents and businesses except those involved in “essential businesses.”
  • The US Small Business Administration is providing low-interest loans to help small businesses recover from the impact of the Coronavirus (The North Bay Business Journal).
  • Seven Bay Area counties issue a shelter-in-place order impacting all residents and businesses in San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties (The New York TimesSan Francisco Chronicle).
  • San Francisco Mayor Breed announces new measures to help small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak. (San Francisco Business TimesOffice of the Mayor).
  • IRS confirms that high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) can cover Coronavirus costs, including testing and treatment. HSA account holders can continue to make HSA contributions if their HDHP covers Coronavirus testing and treatment costs (Accounting Today, Sterling Administration).
  • California DMHC and DOI issue Coronavirus directive to health plans and insurance companies, including the elimination of copays and deductibles on testing and other related services.
  • Governor Newsom declares the State of Emergency to help California prepare for a broader spread of Coronavirus.
  • The U.S. State Department is advising Americans to avoid traveling to certain countries.

Northern California Health System Websites


Federal Government Resources


California Government Resources


Claremont Vendor Partner Resources


Industry Group Resources


Other Helpful Resources


Carrier Travel Assistance Programs

Most of your clients’ employees are currently sheltering-in-place. But some employees may still be traveling for work under the “essential business” or “essential service” provisions of the current shelter-in-place orders. To help these clients, advise them about carrier travel assistance programs that may be available, either through their existing lines of coverage or through additional lines of coverage they may want to consider.

Carrier Travel Assistance Programs typically provide emergency assistance to members while traveling and can include:

  • Physician Dispatch
  • Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
  • Critical Care Monitoring
  • Legal Consultations
  • Emergency Cash

Learn more about carrier travel assistance programs and eligibility.


Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health Resources

Carrier Services

Carriers recognize the strain that COVID-19 is placing on employees and their families. Many are expanding access to emotional, behavioral, and mental health services —and in some cases waiving costs.

Carrier Services Include:

  • Emotional Support Hotlines
  • Behavioral Health Services and Benefits
  • Mental Health and Wellness Phone Apps
  • EAP Programs
  • And More

Download our Carrier Resource Guides to stay up-to-date and advise your employer groups about the available carrier services and benefits available to their employees, either through their existing lines of coverage or through additional lines of coverage they may want to consider.

Government Resources

Several federal and California state government agencies have created resources to support individuals with their emotional and mental health needs.

US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

California Department of Human Health

 

Health System Resources

Several Northern California health systems have resources to help with emotional and mental health:

Kaiser Permanente

John Muir Health

Sutter Health

Other Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)


Questions?
Contact your Claremont team at 800.696.4543 or info@claremontcompanies.com.