Monday, March 23, 2020

And speaking of Group Insurance

Last Friday, we posted a breaking news item pertaining to group health insurance plans and grace periods:

"Employers can defer their premium payments for health insurance for up to 2 months."

Now, we have more details:

"Insurers must permit employers to continue covering employees under group policies even if the employee would become ineligible due to a decrease in hours worked ... Employees who lose coverage are eligible for a special enrollment period to enroll in new [individual] coverage."

More at this link.

One presumes other states will also roll out similar decrees.


We also got some interesting info from Anthem, courtesy of FoIB Beth D:

Q: Can Anthem provide my company with information regarding COVID-19 cases within our member population?

A: Applicable law limits Anthem’s ability to share an individual’s protected health information with an employer absent an authorization or certain extenuating circumstances. As a result, Anthem is limited by law in its ability to disclose individual’s protected health information to an employer.

Q: Can an employer receive information on the number of claims — but not specific names — for COVID-19 tests and related services?

A: No. Currently, it may be possible to identify someone specifically even if, for example, their name is not shared. We recommend checking in with local health authorities to understand the total number of cases in any given area.

Hadn't even considered the HIPAA/Privacy angles here. Thanks, Anthem (and Beth)!

And one more thing (because I'd been wondering about how this will affect self-insured plans, as well):

Self-insured plans no longer have the option not to waive out-of-pocket member expenses for the diagnostic test and the visit associated with the test, as laid out in the federal mandate.

So there ya go.
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