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How COVID-19 is Impacting NH Health & Life Insurance

Written by Tom Hutton on 04/23/2020 10:52 AM in Agency News,. Health Insurance,. Life Insurance.

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As the COVID-19 epidemic continues, some of the rules and guidelines for NH health and life insurance are changing.  As some are for good, while others more restrictive, we want to share the more noteworthy updates and how it may impact you, your family, or your employees.

How is COVID-19 Impacting Health and Life Insurance in New Hampshire

During this time of uncertainty, health and life insurance companies are trying to keep business as normal as possible.  You can still reach your insurance companies directly with billing or coverage questions, but understand that the large call centers typically operated by the companies are now redirected to home offices.  This may cause a slight delay in the service you have come to expect.

How has NH Group Health Insurance Changed from the Coronavirus?

Health Insurance companies, like Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, are aware of the financial impact many of their clients are facing as not only small business owners, but also as the provider of health insurance to their employees.

Understanding that a business may be forced to cut costs, Harvard Pilgrim has changed the eligibility requirement for employees to qualify for group coverage from working a minimum of 20 hours a week to 0 hours a week.  This change helps employers who have to make the difficult decision to furlough employees to be at least able to keep them covered on the group health plan.  

Another positive change for Harvard Pilgrim group health clients is concerning member's cost-sharing.  Harvard Pilgrim will waive all cost-sharing for services to test or treat those with COVID-19.  Cost-sharing includes co-pays, coinsurance, and deductibles.  Also, services rendered in an emergency room will be covered with no cost-sharing on behalf of the member. 

Lastly, health insurance companies are also being much more lenient to businesses that have run into financial hardship because of the Coronavirus.  If your business is having financial difficulty, reach out to the company as accommodations are being made on a case by case scenario.

How has Life Insurance Changed in NH because of the Coronavirus?

Many of the life insurance companies we represent in NH are also making adjustments to how they do business because of COVID-19.  Typically, a life insurance applicant must undergo a paramedical exam to see if eligible for coverage.

The thought of having an examiner come into your house to take vitals and draw blood during a pandemic is a little unsettling, to say the least.  This is especially true as most examiners visit multiple applicants daily.  To adjust to the current situation, some carriers are eliminating the medical exam and using personal data, including electronic health records, prescription databases, and motor vehicle reports.  Also, some life insurance companies are using recent blood work from a physical instead of requiring a physician’s statement, which might not readily available these days.

Can I Still Get Life Insurance During COVID-19?

All the news isn’t positive on the life insurance front.  Life insurance carriers are being more selective on who they write, with a few companies not accepting applications from those 70 years and older during this crisis.  Other life insurance companies are not offering term life insurance with a term longer than 25 years.  An applicant’s residence may also influence the carrier’s decision on whether or not they will provide a policy given the infection rate of any given area.

If you are considering life insurance, we would suggest you still contact a local insurance agent, like HPM Insurance.  We have access to numerous markets, and though one company may deny offering coverage, another company may be willing.

How are Other NH Insurance Companies Responding to COVID-19?

For details on how HPM Insurance and other types of insurance have responded to COVID-19, visit COVID-19 and Insurance Issues from HPM Insurance.

Talk to a NH Health and Life Insurance Agent:

The information, rules, and guidelines coming out of each insurance company are ever-changing and as fluid as the pandemic itself.  We at HPM insurance will try to keep you updated on all the current news and information.  If you have any specific questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us.  Stay safe!

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