UNUM & COVID-19
--Update as of 3/25/2020--
Unum COVID-19 Response
Unum is taking several steps to ensure we can support customers and their employees through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As always, the health and safety of our customers, colleagues, and communities remain our top priority. Our business continuity program prepares us to respond to disruptive events through robust planning, regular testing, and constant monitoring – ensuring we can continue to support you and your employees as the situation progresses.
Our commitment to customers and their employees
During this time of uncertainty, you can count on our unwavering support. We’re committed to meet your needs and deliver quality, dependable service. This includes processing and paying claims, answering questions and providing information as you navigate the impacts to your own workforce.
Some of Unum’s products cover coronavirus-related claims, and we will follow the provisions outlined in your policies and service agreements to determine coverage – just like we would for any other diagnosis.
Pending governmental action
March 20, 2020
On March 18th, two bills were signed, one by President Trump and the other by New York Governor Cuomo, that impact the New York DBL & PFL program. The intent of this communication is to educate you on a few of your responsibilities in these bills, and specifically, the expansion of New York DBL/PFL for mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine due to COVID-19.
Please note that Unum will not be administering paid sick leave. For complete details on our coverage, click here.
The Federal Bill:
Effective April 2nd, employers with <500 employees will be required to pay their employees sick leave for up to 2 weeks for COVID-19 related reasons:
- If the employee is unable to work or telework and is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
- Employers are required to pay the employee their regular rate of pay up to a maximum of $511 per day ($5,110 total).
- If the employee is unable to work or telework and is caring for an individual who is subject to an order or been advised as described above, is caring for a son or daughter if the school or place of care has been closed or the child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions, or is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
- Employers are required to pay 2/3’rd’s of the employee’s regular rate of pay up to a maximum of $200 per day ($2,000 total).
The Federal bill also expands FMLA by requiring employers to provide paid sick leave after 2 weeks and up to 12 weeks if an employee is unable to work (or telework) and needs leave to care for a son or daughter under 18 years of age if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider is unavailable due to this public health emergency. This does not impact NY DBL/PFL coverage.
Employers can receive federal tax credits as a form of reimbursement for paid sick leave benefits required by the Federal bill. We recommend consulting your internal legal counsel or tax consultant to discuss the specifics of the federal tax credit program. This act expires on 12/31/2020.
The federal government is currently evaluating a “phase 3” bill related to COVID-19. Impacts are unclear at this time but we expect focus to be on providing liquidity to businesses to help fund the required employer paid sick leave described above. Unum is monitoring the regulatory and legislative environment very closely and we are committed to keeping our clients updated on new developments impacting Unum coverage. If you have any questions, please reach out directly to your broker advisor or Unum account management team. You can also contact Ask Unum at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-ASK-UNUM (800-275-8686).
Click this link https://www.unum.com/covid-19 to be taken directly to Unum's COVID response page, where you can view FAQs and the latest updates.