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How does the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) Impact You and Your Business?

Published by Robert J Stillwell on March 16, 2020

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How are insurance companies responding?

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) creates a lot of unknowns.  Here is what we do know about how the insurance companies are handling Coronavirus issues:

Health Insurance with Independence Blue Cross

  • Independence will waive cost sharing for the COVID-19 test when performed at a hospital or an approved laboratory.  At this time, the CDC and the state labs currently performing the testing are not billing for COVID-19 testing so members should not incur costs when tested by these labs.
  • Independence encourages members to utilize telemedicine services if they are available as part of a members plan.  To support use of these services, Independence will waive copays for the telemedicine visits for the next 90 days.
  • Independence has lifted prescription refill restrictions, such as the “refill too soon” limit  for members in states that have declared a state of emergency because of the Coronavirus.

Loss of Business Income 

Have you lost business and income due to the Coronavirus? 

You are probably asking yourself, will my insurance policy provide coverage for this type of loss.  Unfortunately, at this time, it is very unlikely that your policy would provide business income coverage.  First, before business income kicks in, there must be property damage.  Second, most policies have a specific property exclusion applicable to viruses that would prohibit coverage.

Workers Compensation

Can Coronavirus become a Workers Compensation claim? 

There is no clear cut answer when it comes to claims handling.  Everything is decided on a case-by-case basis but there are two factors that must be satisfied for something, including the Coronavirus, to qualify under Workers Compensation:   First, the illness or disease must be occupational.  This means that it arose out of and was in the course of your employment.  Second, the illness or disease must arise out of or be caused by conditions peculiar to the work.  An illness or disease is peculiar to the work when such disease is found exclusively to workers in a certain field or there is increased exposure to the illness or disease because of the employee’s working conditions.  The peculiar factor makes the threshold for a successful workers compensation claim a bit more difficult to attain.

The Coronavirus comes with a lot of uncertainty on the impact to the insurance industry. Things are changing everyday especially with the procedures that the federal government is implementing.  How things are  handled today may not be true next week.

If you have any questions on how the Coronavirus may impact you, please call us at 1-800-642-3490 and we are happy to assist you.

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