Coronavirus and Your Insurance Policies: Top 3 Questions Asked
As the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread globally, many of our Employers are calling us with questions about how their insurances might address some of the ways this disease could possibly impact their business, and how their medical insurance policies would respond.
We’d like you to know: United Agencies has been working non-stop to keep you updated on matters related to the Coronavirus. The following are some of our current Frequently Asked Questions, and Answers:
How will my health insurance cover this?
At Governor Newsom’s direction yesterday, all health insurance carriers must lower to zero the cost for screening for the virus, including co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance. This includes hospital and emergency room visits, urgent care treatment, and visits to provider offices. The directive also states that insurers must waive pre-authorization when the care involves COVID-19, permit out-of-network care when required, and specifically includes telehealth or virtual visits. Please be aware the ongoing care, if hospitalized, will be covered at your plans ‘Inpatient’ care copay and coinsurance amounts, up to your out-of-pocket maximum (as usual).
Will our business interruption insurance cover a forced closure?
Many businesses are concerned with lack of sales/product due to supply chain disruption. Or worse- a forced closure due to a localized outbreak (such as they are experiencing in King County, WA). Currently, this is not a covered loss on your business interruption policy. Crisis management coverage *may* provide some limited response for the “crisis management” costs as defined in their policy. We are carefully monitoring the market place for any potential changes in products, or emergency directives.
Can Coronavirus Become a Work Comp Claim?
Yes, if an employee who during the course and scope of employment came in close contact with a party infected with the coronavirus. Below are some examples where employers may be responsible:
- Employees who travel overseas for business and contract the illness.
- Employees who are exposed to the illness at work by an infected coworker.
- Employees who are assigned to work in a location with infected parties.
If you have additional questions in regards to your business policies and coverage, please do not hesitate to reach out to your United Agencies insurance representative for assistance. Our agents are standing by ready to help.
Steps to Take Now to Protect Your Workers from Coronavirus
Health authorities now believe infected people can spread the virus before they begin to show symptoms, increasing the likelihood that they will pass the illness to others. This makes promoting healthy habits in the workplace especially important.
Download the CDC Poster
Ensure sick employees stay home: Employees should stay home if they are experiencing acute respiratory illness symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, and they should not come back to work until they are symptom free for at least 24 hours. If an employee appears to arrive to work sick or becomes sick during the day, he or she should be separated from other employees and sent home immediately. If you have contract or temporary employees, talk to the companies that provide these employees to ensure sick workers stay home.
- Be Flexible with Your Sick Leave Policies: Make sure your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
- Educate Employees: Place posters in common areas that encourage staying home when sick, to use cough and sneeze etiquette, and remind everyone to wash their hands.
- Keep Supplies Stocked: Make sure tissues, hand sanitizer and soap and water are regularly stocked and accessible.
- Perform Routine Cleaning: Clean commonly touched surfaces regularly. Provide disposable wipes to employees so they can keep their workstations clean as well.
- Take Steps Before Employees Travel: If you have any employees who are required to travel for business, be sure to check CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for guidance.
If you have any questions about the coronavirus and workers’ comp, please contact 800-877-1111. For more information on the illness, please refer to the CDC’s Fact Sheet or the Frequently Asked Questions section of the CDC website.
For Questions or Comments About Coronavirus Coverage
Our trained staff is standing by ready to help.