An Employee who is not laid off or terminated
This is a memo from HealthPartners that was distributed to brokers and employers this week. The other carriers are doing things very similarly.
We recognize the unprecedented circumstances employers are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to work with our employer groups to provide as much flexibility as possible to maximize coverage for your employees in the current environment.
We are taking the steps we believe are permissible at this time, and we will monitor regulatory guidance to understand the extent to which we can continue providing this interim flexibility. Any temporary policy changes we make are conditioned on regulatory acceptance and are subject to change if we are so directed by state or federal regulators.
We will continue to provide updates here; we encourage you to check regularly. As always, thank you for placing your trust in HealthPartners.
For information on prevention, symptoms and what to do if you’re feeling sick, visit our COVID-19 information page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most common questions we’ve received.
Q: If employees are on furlough, would they be eligible to stay on the plan?
A: If your group is furloughing employees, we’re allowing flexibility in the plan eligibility definition as long as premium payments continue on the same basis as they currently do.
Q: If employees are not meeting the hourly requirement for eligibility, can they stay on the plan?
A: If your group is temporarily reducing hours for employees, we’re allowing flexibility in eligibility definition as long as premium payments continue on the same basis as they currently do.
Q: If employees are on laid off, would they be eligible to stay on the plan or should they be changed to COBRA status?
A: If your group is terminating/laying off employees, COBRA applies. Individuals may obtain coverage on the Individual market, which may be subsidy-eligible based on income. At least one employee must remain on the group plan to maintain the policy.
Q: Can employers keep their policies active if there are no employees actively working?
A: If your group is terminating coverage (no active employees/closing business), standard contract termination provisions apply. In this case, COBRA does not apply. Individuals may obtain coverage on the Individual market, which may be subsidy-eligible based on income.
Q: Can employers waive their current new hire waiting period during this time?
A: We are allowing employers to make contract changes to shorten waiting periods (30 day change limit) with an immediate effective date for their entire existing employee population. For example, an employee hired Feb 1 with a typical 90 day waiting period could be changed to a 60 day waiting period, making the employee effective April 1.
Q: Are you still paying claims?