Update: March 20, 2020
Dear Valued BNC Client,
We hope that this finds you, your families and your employees well during these unprecedented times surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
During this time of uncertainty, we want to provide you with important legislative updates, information and resources to help you. We also want to keep you informed on how the health plan carriers are addressing care for their members.
We have received quite a few inquiries about premium payment extensions. Although none of the carriers have conveyed a set plan to extend payment deadlines, we anticipate that some of the carriers will do so. We will be sure to inform you if/when carriers allow provisions for payment extensions. As a reminder, although premium payments are always due on the 1st of each month, the carriers provide a 30 day grace period for premiums to be received. For example, April’s payment is due on April 1st; however as long as the carrier receives payment and it clears by April 30th, your policy will remain active.
With respect to treatment, on March 14, New York’s Governor Cuomo announced requirements for health plans to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing with in-network providers, including emergency room, urgent care and office visits. Members will not be responsible for any costs related to testing of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Many of the major health carriers, including UnitedHealthcare/Oxford, Emblem Health, Empire BCBS, Aetna and HealthFirst have expanded their telemedicine benefit to all members. Please note that member cost-sharing may apply in this instance and is dependent upon carrier.
UnitedHealthcare/Oxford, Emblem Health, Empire BCBS and Aetna have informed us that they will provide flexible pharmacy benefits. The carriers are easing refill limits on prescriptions and allowing for early refills when available. Members may obtain prescriptions for up to a 90 day supply in some cases.
Below please find links to some of our most popular carrier partner’s websites with additional information on how they are each addressing the pandemic. Through these links you may find links to telemedicine and helpful FAQs.
Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, New York State of Health (NYSOH), the official health plan marketplace, and the New York Department of Financial Services, have opened a Special Open Enrollment Period from March 16, 2020 to April 15, 2020 for eligible, uninsured individuals and their families to enroll in a qualified health plan for coverage effective April 1, 2020. You can obtain more information and see if you qualify on the NY State of Health Website link here.
Below are some other valuable resources to learn more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to protect yourself and others, as well as what to do if suspect that you or someone you know is sick.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- World Health Organization
- New York State
There are still a lot of unanswered questions as we navigate through this together. We will be sure to keep you informed as we receive updates from our carrier partners.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Benefits Department if you have any questions or if we can be of any help. We are here to address your concerns.
Stay well and take care of one another,
The BNC Team
Update: March 16, 2020
Dear Valued BNC Client:
March 13, 2020
Dear Valued BNC Clients,
As the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) expands, BNC is monitoring recommendations of local, state, and federal officials.
Protecting the health of our employees and their families, as well as our business continuity is top of mind. Should there be a need for our employees to work remotely, we have longstanding remote work capabilities that will be deployed. These plans protect our valued employees and allow us to continue to serve our valued clients with anticipated minimal or no service interruption. BNC is committed to continuing to deliver service needs at a high level and we have taken preemptive steps to be ready for deployment if needed.
As we continue to monitor the insurance industry supply chain that serves our office from around the country and overseas (which includes insurance carriers, their employees and risk management personnel, as well as others), we can anticipate there may be possible service delays in the future within this supply chain. Among other actions, some insurance companies are already moving to a remote work environment for their employees which may or may not be as efficient as we are all accustomed to them being. These are sound risk management steps in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic but could possibly cause slight delays. Please rest assured, BNC has taken steps to be prepared in these unprecedented times.
We will keep you updated if and when we make the decision to shift to a remote employee work environment.
Thank you for your business and understanding.
BNC Insurance Agency