Maintaining Coverage for Employees
If your business temporarily furloughs employees because of a closure or reduction of business due to COVID-19, these resources can help you to understand options for maintaining health insurance coverage and helping staff transition:
Continuing Employee Coverage
The Maine Bureau of Insurance has issued an order that insurance companies must allow small employers to continue to offer coverage to employees (who had been covered prior to the furlough), even if they are not actively working, so long as their premium is paid. Read the order.
Extension on Premium Payments
If you need more time to pay your premium, you should reach out to your health insurance company immediately to discuss your options.
The Superintendent of the Bureau of Insurance is requiring insurance companies in the individual and small group markets to provide flexibility on premium due dates, and prohibiting them from terminating plans for non-payment until at least June 1, 2020. More detail can be found in the Superintendent’s order.
Paycheck Protection Loan
The new “Paycheck Protection” loan program authorized under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act can be used to cover the cost of premiums for employees.
These loans are also eligible for forgiveness if a small business retains its workforce following the public health emergency. Learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program.
Getting Covered Yourself
If you are losing coverage due to the suspension of your business, or if you are self-employed and experiencing a reduction in income, check the information about coverage for individuals to learn about the options available to you.
Helping Staff Transition
If you are no longer able to offer health insurance coverage to your employees, you can help by making sure they are aware of alternative coverage options including MaineCare, Marketplace coverage subsidized by the federal government, and COBRA. Knowing about options and deadlines in advance can help prevent or minimize lapses in coverage. Learn more about these programs on our page of resources for individuals.