Covid-19 Insurance Resources
On this page, you’ll find resources to help employers, employees, and individuals. We will continue to update this page to make sure they are as up to date as possible.
RogersGray Office Update
Effective Monday, 3/16/20 all RogersGray offices will be closed to the public except by appointment. Our team is extremely conscientious and are working hard to ensure continuity of service to all clients in this quickly changing environment. If you believe you need in-person servicing (ex: RMV stamp) – please call 800-553-1801 to schedule an appointment or CLICK HERE for ways to conduct your insurance needs from your home or office during social distancing.
This measure will aid in the continued good health of both our clients and team members.
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FFCRA: Emergency Leaves of Absence | Considerations for Policies and Forms
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Emergency Leaves of Absence | Considerations for Policies and Forms – Provided by Benefits Advisors Network
FFCRA: New Rule and Guidance from DOL and IRS
New FFCRA Guidance in Temporary Rule and FAQs
The Department of Labor (DOL) has released rules related to administration of leaves under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and answered more common questions on their Questions and Answers page. Below are some key highlights to keep in mind when administering these leaves. We also recommend reading our summary of the FFCRA in Comply if you have not already done so.
- Documentation: Employers may not require more documentation from employees than is described below. For instance, employers may not request a doctor’s note or an official notice from a closed school or daycare.
- Childcare Provider: The definition of childcare provider includes anyone who generally cares for the children in question. This includes individuals paid to provide childcare, like nannies, au pairs, and babysitters, as well as individuals who provide childcare at no cost and without a license on a regular basis, for example, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or a neighbor.
- Reasons for Self-Quarantine: Employees are only eligible for emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) if a health care provider directs or advises them to self-quarantine because the health care provider believes the employee may have COVID-19 or is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
- EPSL due to Stay-at-Home Orders: In some narrow circumstances, an employee who is subject to a stay-at-home order may be able to receive EPSL. They will only be eligible if the business is open and has work for them to do, but a stay-at-home order that applies specifically to them as an individual prevents them from working. For instance, if the retail store where an employee works as a cashier is still open, but the employee is over 65 and subject to an executive order from their governor that all people over 65 should stay home, they would be eligible for EPSL.
- Exempt Healthcare Workers: The exemption for healthcare workers is optional and the DOL encourages employers to be judicious in denying leave (if someone is sick with something that looks like COVID-19, you are encouraged to provide them leave anyway, even if they could be exempted). Healthcare facilities should still post the Employee Rights Poster required by the FFCRA.
- Limited Small Employer Exemption: Although this is not new information, we want to reiterate that small employers are only potentially exempt from the childcare leaves provided by EPSL and emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) leave. For instance, one reason for exemption is that providing leave would cause the employer to cease functioning at a minimal capacity. If a single employee asks for intermittent childcare leave one day per week, but can telework the other four days, that is very unlikely to be a financial burden that causes the employer to cease operations. It would therefore be inappropriate (or illegal) for an employer to announce that they will not be considering or granting any childcare leaves.
IRS Guidance on Required Documentation for Leave Tax Credits
Employers have been anxious to find out what kind of documentation they will need to claim a payroll tax credit. The documentation that can be requested of employees is listed below. The IRS has a very helpful overview and FAQ that covers other common questions about the tax credits in detail.
Employers can substantiate eligibility for the sick leave or family leave credits by receiving a written request from the employee that includes the following:
- Their name;
- The date or dates for which leave is requested;
- A statement of the COVID-19 related reason they are requesting leave and written support for such reason; and
- A statement that they are unable to work, including by means of telework, for such reason.
For leave based on a quarantine order or self-quarantine advice, the request should include the name of the governmental entity ordering quarantine or the name of the health care professional advising self-quarantine. If the person subject to quarantine or advised to self-quarantine is not the employee, that person’s name and relation to the employee should be included.
For a leave request based on a school closing or child care provider unavailability, the statement should include the name and age of the child (or children) to be cared for, the name of the school or place of care that has closed, and a representation that no other person will be providing care for the child during the leave. If a child who needs care is 15 or older, the employee must affirm that there are special circumstances (but need not explain them) — the IRS otherwise assumes kids 15 and older can take care of themselves for the length of a workday.
According to the DOL, this is the extent of the documentation you may require.
We have an FFCRA Leave Request Form available in Comply that asks employees for the information necessary based on their reason for leave.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) application materials for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are now active and available on the SBA website.
This SBA loan program was included in the CARES Act stimulus program enacted on Friday March 27, 2020. The program authorizes up to $350 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. These provisions are highly attractive to employers as they allow for up to 100% forgiveness of the loan.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
CARES Act Summary
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Summary – Provided by Benefits Advisors Network
COVID-19 Employer FAQ
Curated from over 2,000 questions submitted to ThinkHR and Mammoth.
FFCRA Employer Poster | Mandatory for Employers To Post
Here is the Famlies First Coronavirus Response Act Poster. Employers who meet the FFCRA requirements must post this for employees.
MA Shut Down Order; Essential vs. Non-Essential Workers & Revised Gatherings Order
Restaurants – Addition of Delivery Drivers
We understand the need to be creative to keep sales flowing and employees employed. If you have added delivery services to your operations, please let us know because there are steps you need to take to cover yourself in this situation. For instance, the use of personal autos for delivery leads to coverage concerns but we know of at least one insurance company that specializes in restaurants that is looking to provide the coverage at no additional cost to the insured. Like the other points of interest on this page, this is also a very fluid situation and we are paying close attention to our insurance carriers.
RMV - By appointment only and limited offices open
The RMV has transitioned to appointment only. Please visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-registry-of-motor-vehicles for up to date information.
Only the following 7 RMV centers will be open effective March 18th until further notice. Click here for full notice
MA Announces $10 Million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund
Baker-Polito Administration Announces $10 Million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund. Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 will have access to capital assistance
Family First Coronavirus Response Act - Outline
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Webinar Registration [4.10.20] HR Update | Adjusting to a Remote Workforce
This week’s HR Update webinar will focus on guiding employers through the best practices for HR teams and employers around this “new norm” of remote work.
Join EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer at Cape Cod Five, Laura E. Newstead, Lauren Mahoney, Vice President of Benefits, Compensation, and Employee Relations at Rockland Trust, and Allison McEachern, Chief People Officer at RogersGray for a discussion on the following:
• Adjusting to the remote workforce
• Best methods of communication
• Assisting employees who lack technological skill
• Maintaining a sense of connection and corporate culture fun
• Rolling out new benefits (FFCRA/COVID related, Telemedicine, etc.)
• General challenges an HR team may face
Webinar Recording [4.3.20] Marketplace Update | CARES Act & PPP
New legislation has been introduced at the federal level to address the economic issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this week’s Marketplace Update we will be discussing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We will be joined by Laura Jenkins, Mark Henry and Popi Barrett of Citrin Cooperman and Jenifer Pinkham of Phifer Pinkham LLC, to delve into the Act and its implications and benefits for businesses and employers.
Topics will include:
• Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
• Employee Retention Tax Credit
• Paycheck Protection SBA Loan Program
• Recession Readiness Tools
• Employment law scenarios for different businesses
• MA Governor Baker’s May 4th extension & new definitions of “essential employees”
Additional topics to be announced as new updates and developments occur.
Webinar Recording [3.27.20] Marketplace Update | FFCRA Q&A
- Layoff v. Furlough – Pros/Cons and details of each option
- Clarifying the FFCRA (Families First CoronaVirus Response Act) and the gap from now until April 1st
- FFCRA Sick Leave vs. other leave options
- FFCRA Family Leave vs. other leave options
- Employer responsibility for communication/documentation to employees, OSHA, & more
Webinar Recording [3.23.20] Marketplace Update | MA Shut Down Q&A
On Monday, March 23rd, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and state health officials issued a ‘stay-at-home advisory’, including the closure of nonessential businesses – that goes into effect 3/24/20 at noon.
We held a brief Q&A on this with Jenifer Pinkham of Phifer Pinkham, LLC and Jeff Bastien of RogersGray. The call discussed:
- What does Massachusetts Shut Down Mean
- Essential v. Non-Essential definitions
- Physical v. Remote Workspace
- What to do if your business is in the Essential Category
- What to do if your business is in the Non-Essential Category
Webinar Recording [3.20.20] Marketplace Update | COVID-19 & Its Impact on Businesses
As the world continues to be affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), businesses are being impacted tremendously by social distancing and imposed shutdowns. To help guide you through, we provided this marketplace update with employment attorney Jenifer Pinkham of Phifer Pinkham, LLC , Jeanne McLaughlin and Kay-Dee Pena from Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, Elizabeth DeMelo, Claims Resolutions Manager at RogersGray and others on COVID-19 and its impact thus far on our region’s businesses and employers.
- Legislation impacting small and mid-size businesses – including the Families First Coronavirus Act
- Employment Issues including: layoffs, eligibility for unemployment compensation, unpaid leave and continuance of benefits including health insurance, inquiries into employee’s health, medical condition and privacy, requiring essential employees to report to work and remote work arrangements
- BCBS; health carrier information, what carriers are doing to prepare and member responsibilities for COVID-related testing
- Business interruption, Workers Comp Information and OSHA Guidance
Resources for Employers
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What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms.
Can Short Term Disability help pay for an employee who is in self quarantine?
Generally, no, however you should check with your STD carrier.
Am I covered for business interruption?
Coverage for Business Interruption is typically found under your Business owners or Commercial Property policy. Business Interruption coverage is intended to provide Loss of Income and/or Extra Expense when your property suffers “direct physical loss or damage.” Some policies may include contingent property business income, civil authority or crisis management enhancements that provide limited coverage not subject to the requirement of direct physical damage to your property. Each property and casualty policy is going to have specific terms and conditions that impact coverage.
In the meantime, if you believe you’ll have the grounds to make a claim, it is important that you retain any and all records relating to your loss of income or extra expenses to continue your business operations.
As your advocate, we will work with you at the time of a loss to secure a determination of coverage from your insurance company. In addition, the availability of financial assistance is still under consideration by the federal government.
Will insurers cover telehealth services related to COVID-19? (MA only)
The MA Department of Public Health has issued guidance that requires all commercial insurers, self-insured plans, and the Group Insurance Commission are required to cover medically necessary telehealth services related to COVID-19 testing and treatment. Insurers must do this without requiring cost-sharing of any kind – such as co-pays and coinsurance – for testing and treatment. PRESS RELEASE | ORDER
Can I renew my MA license?
All Class D and Class DM driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits that have expired or are expiring between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will have a 60-day extension applied to the current expiration date. Visit RMV website for more information on all RMV services in MA.
Exposures – What if my Sales/Payroll is Down ?
Many commercial insurance premiums are based upon payroll and/or sales. We know that there are carriers that will be able to make mid-year adjustments to both based on the COVID-19 circumstances and we’re expecting them to become more flexible in this area. If this scenario applies to you, please reach out to your client manager so we can look further into this for you.
Where can I get information on Small Business Loans in MA?
A loan fund of $10 million has been created to provide financial relief to Massachusetts businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) will receive and process all applications for this fund.