Potential COVID-19 Legislation – The federal government is still considering a slew of legislation and executive orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis, but one that has already received bipartisan support in the House is related to new Federal Sick Leave requirements and FMLA expansion, both for employers with fewer than 500 employees. Please note the below link to MetLife’s summary of these proposals was dated 3/16/20, these proposals have not yet been made law as of the morning of 3/18/20, they will likely change in some way upon becoming law, and we will keep you posted. However for now, we recommend employers make themselves aware of the proposed details and be ready to act swiftly once finalized & enacted hopefully this week. https://www.metlife.com/content/dam/metlifecom/us/homepage/COVID-19/documents/Federal_Coronavirus_Legislation_Letter_to_500_or_Fewer_Lives_FINAL.pdf
Considering Reduced Hours or Furloughs? – As tough decisions loom for employers considering potential reduced hours, layoffs, furloughs, and/or leave of absences – please be mindful of the benefit termination impact of those decisions, and if & when COBRA should apply. In fact, some health insurance carriers themselves are in active discussions right now to potentially relax their own policy contract language specifically around furloughs. So if applicable, please reach out to your Stumm Service Team to discuss rules around COBRA and/or any changes to the extension of benefits during temporary inactive employment.
Bill Payment Reminder – With some companies learning to operate in the “new normal”, this is just a friendly reminder to seek out and pay your monthly health insurance premiums, as invoices for the month of April are being generated this week. While it is not uncommon for a group to occasionally miss a payment, unfortunately that can cause a temporary lapse in coverage if your group is delinquent more than 30 days. Further, the payment & reinstatement process with the carrier can take days, and now is not the time your employees want to get their claims denied due to unpaid premiums at the employer level.
Working from Home – Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19, our employees will be working from home for the foreseeable future. Rest assured, our teams and operations are properly equipped to function remotely without disruption, so you can continue to contact us at our usual emails and phone numbers. Furthermore during this time, we have instructed all our employees to conduct all client & employee meetings virtually through conference calls, screen-shares, webinars, and/or pre-recorded presentations. We thank you for your flexibility as we look out for the well-being of our employees, our clients, their employees, and our communities.
Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact your Stumm Client Service Team.