Thursday, April 16, 2020
A recent Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo, in conjunction with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), extends grace periods for health insurance premiums due and gives you other rights under certain insurance policies if you are an individual or small business (100 employees or less) who can attest, in writing, to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes are currently in effect but are temporary.
Generally, these extended grace periods apply to payments due on comprehensive health insurance policies. So, if you are an individual or a small business “affected policy or contract holder” (you are only an affected policy or contract holder if you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and can attest to the same in writing), please contact your insurance carrier or Amsure to see how these temporary provisions may apply to you. A business qualifies as a “small business” if it is located in New York State, is independently owned and operated, and employs 100 or fewer individuals.
Here is a brief overview of the Executive Order provisions:
The period for the payment of premiums for April and May has been extended to the later of the expiration of the applicable contractual grace period and 11:59 p.m. on June 1, 2020, for any individual, small group, or student blanket comprehensive health insurance policy, for any affected policyholder or contract holder. The insurer shall be responsible for the payment of claims during such period and may not retroactively terminate the insurance policy for non-payment of the premium during such period.
If you take advantage of the extended grace period afforded by this Executive Order due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., you are an affected policy or contract holder), you must submit to your insurance carrier or Amsure, a statement that you swear or affirm in writing under penalty of perjury that you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This statement shall be accepted as satisfactory proof by your carrier. Such a statement is not required to be notarized.
Any premium payment extension granted shall not be construed as a waiver or forgiveness of premium. Premiums will eventually have to be paid, and your insurance carrier will be available to discuss alternative payment arrangements.
If you have any questions regarding your rights under the Executive Order, please contact your insurance carrier or Amsure.
Please check the DFS’s website for updates.
Finally, let me say thank you to all of our clients. We appreciate your business and will work with each of you to assist however we can.