SS+D COVID-19 Response Team: Coronavirus Update March 23, 2020
March 23, 2020 | Sebaly Shillito + Dyer
STATE UPDATE – OHIO DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE ISSUES BULLETIN REGARDING HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE
The Ohio Department of Insurance issued a bulletin (Bulletin 2020-03) ordering insurers to comply with new requirements designed to prevent or alleviate the public health threat due to coronavirus. The Bulletin applies to all health plan issuers in the State of Ohio and will stay in effect for the duration of Ohio’s State of Emergency. The Bulletin provides, among other things:
- Insurers must give their insureds an interest-free 60-day grace period on all premiums.
- Insurers are prohibited from increasing premium rates based on a group’s decreased enrollment or participation due to COVID-19.
- Insurers must permit employers to continue covering employees under group policies (a) even if the employee would otherwise become ineligible due to a decrease in hours worked per week, and (b) regardless of any “actively at work” or similar eligibility requirements in the policy.
- For employers that employ 20 or more people, as long as one person remains actively employed, employees are allowed to elect to continue coverage under COBRA (under normal notice and election procedures) or state continuation coverage (for up to twelve months). If no employees remain covered, the employees are eligible for a special enrollment period to obtain new coverage (whether under another policy that is available to them or on the federal exchange).
A copy of the bulletin is available at:
STATE UPDATE – OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PROVIDES GUIDANCE ON CONSEQUENCES FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH STAY HOME ORDER
SS+D has been working with the Ohio Department of Health to understand the scope of the “Stay Home” Order and the consequences for noncompliance. The Ohio Department of Health informed us today that it considers violation of the Order to be a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. Whether or not your business is permitted to stay open under the Order is dependent on a number of factors; please reach out to SS+D directly with specific inquiries about your business.
STATE UPDATE – GOVERNOR DEWINE’S DAILY UPDATE
Today in his daily press conference, Governor DeWine clarified his announcements regarding child care providers in the state of Ohio. Beginning Thursday, March 26, 2020, Ohio child care providers must operate with a temporary child care license and may not have more than six children in one room. An application for this license may be found on the Ohio Jobs and Family Services’ website.
Governor DeWine also announced that there will be an immediate freeze on the hiring of state government personnel, with the exception of COVID-19 related positions, and a freeze on new contract services. These actions are being done in order to address the impact COVID-19 will undoubtedly have on the state’s revenue. Governor DeWine will be working with departments throughout the state to determine where budget and spending cuts may be made. The goal is to make budget cuts of up to 20% of the state budget.
ABOUT THE SS+D COVID-19 RESPONSE TEAM
The SS+D COVID-19 Response Team was formed to provide clients, colleagues, and friends of the Firm updates for the foreseeable future on COVID-19 issues facing businesses, executives, and employees. Please let us know if there are any items/issues you would like for us to track or summarize.