Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  A new coronavirus, called 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus, that was first detected in China is now spreading worldwide.  This virus causes a disease called COVID-19, and can lead to fever, cough, shortness of breath, and other more serious respiratory complications.

It has been confirmed that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has reached our area.  We wanted to share information on how insurance carriers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), the White House, New York Department of Health, New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), and the IRS, are monitoring and reacting to this recently declared pandemic.

On March 2, 2020, New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued a directive under Governor Cuomo requiring private health insurers in NY to make COVID-19 testing free for patients by waiving all member out-of-pocket costs.  This includes any fees associated with an emergency room visit, or a visit to an in-network health care provider for the purpose of getting tested for COVID-19.  All fees associated with COVID-19 testing are waived for members in fully insured plans.  The directive issued by DFS does not apply to self-funded plans, but self-funded employer groups have the option to implement the waived cost-share.

We will contact each of you separately with information on how your insurance carriers are handling disability and paid family leave claims as it relates to COVID-19.

More information can be found at: