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Carrier COVID-19 Short-Term Disability and Voluntary Benefit Offerings

With the coronavirus outbreak officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, employers and employees are justifiably concerned. With business disruption on the horizon, employers are looking to their existing benefits packages for support.

Short Term Disability Products (Fully-Insured): Short Term Disability (STD) covers individuals who are unable to perform the duties of their occupations because they are injured or sick. If a person is diagnosed with coronavirus, Short Term Disability would likely cover someone after the elimination period if the aforementioned description has been met. Individuals who are quarantined without a diagnosis and not sick generally would not have payable claims under Short Term Disability.

Reference the chart below for information on how some insurance carriers are responding to ensure employees are supported through the pandemic.

COVID-19 and Fully-Insured Short-Term Disability

The Standard

MetLife

Unum

Guardian

Reliance Standard

Mutual of Omaha

The Hartford

Is Corona virus (COVID-19) covered by your traditional STD plans? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Only if the employee was unable to perform the essential duties of their job due to the sickness
Is it covered the same as other illness or differently (if differently, how)? The same The same The same The same The same The same The same
Are there any claims filing differences for Corona vs other illnesses? No No No No No No No
If a covered employee is not sick, but due to a quarantine they cannot work, is there a STD benefit for them? (assuming the quarantine is causing a drop in income) Possibly, if the employee is a healthcare provider - evaluated on a case by case basis No Generally, no Some STD policies have a Quarantine Benefit Rider No No No

COVID-19 and Voluntary Benefits

The Standard

MetLife

Unum

Guardian

Reliance Standard

Mutual of Omaha

Is this covered under Hospital Indemnity like any other illness? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Does not offer Hospital Indemnity
How is this covered under Critical Illness if at all? If it causes Organ Failure Not covered May be covered under the new policy's Infectious Disease Rider If it causes Organ Failure If it causes Organ Failure Diagnosis of coronavirus alone is not covered
If an Accident plan has a sickness rider, could benefits be paid? Accident plans do not offer Sickness Riders Could be eligible Could be eligible There is a Hospital Confinement Rider that is available in most states Accident plans do not offer Sickness Riders Accident Plans do not include a sickness rider
Any enhancements, exclusions we should know about? None None None None None None
Is the claim filing process any different? No No No No No No

For more information about the services that are being offered by our carrier partners, visit our OneDigital Coronavirus Advisory Hub, or reach out to your local OneDigital advisory team.

Disclaimer: Policy benefits may vary by state and individual contract. Please view your policies to get the best and accurate information regarding your coverage. Many state and federal governments and departments of insurance are in the process of providing guidance and direction for employers in response to the current situation. These developments will influence changes to coverage.

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