Effective March 20, 2020, the Superintendent of the Ohio Department of Insurance issued Bulletin 2020-03 entitled “Health Insurance Coverage Flexibility for Ohio Employees” in response to the “State of Emergency” Executive Order issued by Governor Mike DeWine earlier this month. The Bulletin mandates Ohio insurers (e.g., insurance providers, Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements, etc.) to do the following during this state of emergency:
- Insurers are required to suspend their “actively at work” or “minimum hours” requirements in order to allow employers the ability to maintain employees’ group health insurance coverage if employees would otherwise be ineligible due to a decrease in their hours worked during this crisis;
- Insurers are required to give insureds the option of delaying their group health insurance payments for up to sixty calendar days, interest free, from each payment due date;
- For employers with 20 or more employees, as long as one individual remains actively employed then all employees who are eligible for COBRA may elect and pay for COBRA continuation coverage.
- For employers with fewer than 20 employees, as long as one individual remains actively employed then all employees who would be eligible may elect state continuation coverage for up to 12 months.
- If no employees remain actively employed, then neither COBRA nor state continuation coverage will be an option, but those employees will be offered a special enrollment period in order to obtain health insurance coverage either through the federal exchange or outside of it.
Please direct specific questions regarding your group health insurance policy to your insurance provider or insurance agent, however, this change in policy provides much-needed guidance for employers who need to make adjustments to their workforce during this time and are concerned about the impact to employee benefits. If you have questions or want help navigating these larger employment decisions contact your attorney at Carlile Patchen & Murphy LLP or any member of the Employment Law Group.