The many notices and regulations due to COVID-19 has produced many changes to health and welfare plans.
The changes affect summary plan documents and carriers across multiple states impacting medical, dental, vision, life, disability, FSA, HSA, HRA, Supplemental, Cobra, retirement plans, ACA guidance.
Requirements have been expanded for the eligibility and continuation of coverage and the process for claims submission and resolution.
During this time and until the extension of regulations has ended, the following steps are recommended for brokers/consultants, employers, and employees to best address situations and questions as they arise:
- Benefits consultant/broker – Provide information to employers to post/communicate to employees and address employer and employee questions.
- Employer – Ask questions of your brokers/consultants and post/communicate provided information to employees.
- Employees – Ask questions of your employer and benefits consultant and call carriers directly with specific questions related to your health and welfare.
It is hard to update every plan document or anticipate every question with the degree of uncertainty with COVID-19.
You may need to review questions with an ERISA attorney, and your benefits consultant can advise when best to do so or when a situation necessitates this action.
Main goal is to keep the communication open. We are in this together trying to find the fairest resolution for all in these somewhat unchartered times.