COVID-19 makes carriers change the eligibility that determines benefits

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Preliminary estimation points towards the global outbreak causing considerable damage to the employee benefit plans, especially for the employers who self-fund themselves.

Many of the insurance carriers are changing the way they determine the eligibility for benefits as a gesture of extending coverage to employees that are affected due to the metaphoric volcanic eruption of the Coronavirus spread across the world, as per a survey by LIMRA on April 16, the international life insurance and financial services research association.

According to the report, almost 70% of employees, meaning 7 out of 10 in the U.S depending on their employee benefits for the coverage of their insurance needs. Almost all carriers that responded in the survey said that they are offering workers a premium grace period of 2 months on an average who are not in the position to pay their premiums because of the pandemic. others stated that they have plans of reassessing or maybe even extending the timelines if need be.

Out of all the carriers surveyed, 42% of them have chosen to directly continue the coverage for all of the employees for a particular period of time. Another 22% of them have extended the eligibility of the benefits based on case-to-case to employees with changed employment status. A third of the respondents have already made adjustments to their reinstatement rules in order to make things easier for the employees affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The unemployment rate has been increasing and the higher number of unemployed employees would mean that a significant number of employees have lost the benefit that was provided to them by their employers. But the employees might be able to continue having their coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) in case they lose eligibility. Many organizations are now looking for different ways in which they can reduce the costs of the plans and also maintain the benefits during these times.

Another survey by Willis Towers Watson identified that 86% of employers claimed to be promoting using telemedicine solutions. Over two-fifths of the respondents of this survey claimed that employees who contract the virus would be waived off of out-of-pocket costs.

How will the change in the economic ecosystem impact the benefits further ahead? We will get to know about it with time. To know more about such impacts and implications in the hrtech industry, follow the hrtech cube. Hrtech cube delivers regular updates about the ongoings from the industry of hrtech.


Chandrima Samanta
Content-Editor at MartechCube
Chandrima is a Content management executive with a flair for creating high quality content irrespective of genre. She believes in crafting stories irrespective of genre and bringing them to a creative form. Prior to working for MartechCube she was a Business Analyst with Capgemini.


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