We are in this together.
Closing your Doors
If you make the decision to lay off 100% of your work force and there are no active employees enrolled on your health plan – benefits will end on the last day of the month. In this scenario, there is no COBRA (groups of 20 or more) or State Continuation (under 20) to offer to employees.
Reduction of Workforce
If you reduce employees hours below plan hourly eligibility requirements or lay-off employees (but still have active employees enrolled on the plan) you are required to offer: COBRA (groups of 20 or more) or State Continuation (under 20)
However, if you reduce employees hours but want to keep them on the plan for up to 3 months you may, but current premium arrangements will apply. Carriers are being extremely flexible at this time and are making allowances - but premium needs to be paid.
Leave of Absence
If you grant a leave of absence or furlough employees (but still have active employees enrolled on the plan) carriers will allow these employees to continue coverage for up to 3 months or 90 days. However, the premium for these employees will still need to be paid under the current contract arrangement.
Carriers are being more flexible with late and delinquent payments. However, premium is still due on the first of the month. Most carriers offer a 30-day grace period to remit funds.
COVID-19 Cost Share
All carriers in Oregon and Washington are required to offer no cost sharing for tests. This includes H.S.A. (health saving account) or high deductible health plans.
Required Family Leave
Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law this week. It provides provisions to protect workers and employers for providing emergency paid sick leave.
Not all carriers offer State Continuation. Please contact us for specifics on your carrier. COBRA is required.
You should continue to pay premium payments for all active employees whenever possible. Not all quarantines are created equal. Carriers have varying definitions and eligibility depending on the circumstances, diagnosis etc. We will notify you of any changes to legislation.
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Reliable Resources on COVID-19
We recommend that you refer to the following resources for reliable and accurate information. There continues to be extensive hoaxes and misinformation posted online and sent via email.
Oregon State Updates
Insurance carriers are meeting with DFR (Department of Financial Regulation) to see what changes can be implemented to give relief to small businesses and individuals. We will update our clients with any significant changes.
Medical Carriers have Resources about COVID-19.
A period of time before benefits are payable.
It is recommended that telehealth services are used whenever possible. See your local carrier page for more info. All carriers offer telehealth services - check the links above for more info.
Information Flyers for distribution to your employees.
Employees Losing Coverage
Loss of group coverage is a qualifying event for individuals to purchase insurance or to qualify for OHP (Oregon Health Plan). We would encourage most employees to apply for OHP since there will be no premium and no cost sharing for services.
Significant changes to employee benefits will be posted below.
March 23, 2020
OR State Issues Grace Period
The state issued a temporary emergency order requiring all insurance companies to extend grace periods for premium payments, postpone policy cancellations and non renewals and extend deadlines for reporting claims.
March 24, 2020
Legal Notice Released
The DOL (Department of Labor) has released a new Federal notice. The notice provides employees of their rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In addition to posting it in your workplace, we recommend that you also email to your employees immediately due to the temporary telecommuting status of some.
April 14, 2020
Re-Opening the Economy
Governor Brown released vague guidance on opening the Oregon economy:
- Ramping up COVID-19 testing capacity in every region of Oregon
- Developing robust contact tracing systems to track and contain COVID-19 cases
- Establishing a quarantine and isolation program for new cases
April 15, 2020
CDC Updated Guidance
The CDC updated its guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness.
April 16, 2020
Re-Opening the Economy
The White House has released a guide to re-opening the American economy. Governor Kate Brown is working with her task force to issue more guidance on opening the Oregon economy.
April 20, 2020
Updated Guidance on FFCRA
An updated FAQ regarding the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
April 23, 2020
Re-Opening the Oregon Economy
Governor Brown announced that hospitals, surgical centers, medical and dental center will be allowed to resume elective procedures on May 1, 2020.
State officials hope to be able to release by the week of May 4 complete details on the testing and tracing plan and details of each reopening phase. .
The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has extended its emergency order on insurance deadlines until at least May 23.