Answers to common questions about the impact of COVID-19 on insurance policies available through an employer.
Information is current as of July 13. Things are changing quickly. We're monitoring developments and will keep you updated here.
If you, or your employees, are quarantined or ill
No, we evaluate COVID-19 as we would any other medical condition.
If someone is under quarantine for COVID-19, they don’t automatically have a disabling medical condition to satisfy the definition of disability under our policies. As with all claim submissions, the definition of disability and all other provisions outlined in the policy must be met.
Claims for COVID-19 will be evaluated the same as any other illness. As with all claims, that person must meet the definition of disability and all other provisions outlined in the policy.
No. Critical illness policies pay benefits when the person that’s insured is diagnosed with illnesses specified in his or her policy, and COVID-19 is not a specified illness under our policies.
*Specified disease in NY.
Yes, as long as the policy is in good standing (premiums are paid and current). The policy covers death, regardless of the cause.*
* Subject to contractual terms of the policy and any applicable rider.
If your job or business situation has changed
Our standard practice is to continue coverage until the end of the month. However, as an administrative exception due to impacts from COVID-19, any employee no longer eligible due to reduced hours or furlough/layoff that begins on or after March 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, may continue coverage for 90 days, provided premiums continue to be paid. The 90-day continuation period begins on the start date of the furlough, layoff, or reduction in hours.
When employees with terminated coverage are rehired within six months of the termination date and before January 9, 2021, benefits are reinstated without a new hire waiting period. After January 9, provisions detailed in your policy's reinstatement section will apply.
Coverage remained active through May 31, 2020, if the employer continued to pay premiums.
Questions about coverage
We’ve adjusted applicable processes and are in full compliance. As of March 1, 2020, the DOL’s final rule, Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak, extends:
- the election period for newly unemployed individuals to enroll in a COBRA plan,
- the election period for individuals who’ve had a qualifying event, and
- claim filing deadlines.
Yes, we’ll reimburse for services performed via teledentistry, just as if the service was performed in a traditional office setting. The American Dental Association (ADA) is recommending that dentists focus on emergency care at this time.
If a limited oral evaluation is performed using teledentistry between March 15, 2020, and May 31, 2020, it will not count toward the frequency limit for evaluations.*
*Excludes self-funded coverage.
If you use a VSP provider*, yes. You're covered through the VSP Primary Eyecare program, free of charge after a $20 copay. This coverage runs April 1 - May 31, 2020. Essential medical eyecare services include, but are not limited to: sudden vision changes or vision loss, eye trauma, pink eye, foreign body removal, and other symptoms that interfere with or significantly hamper day-to-day activities. Often these will be handled via telehealth methods whenever possible.
Contact VSP for more information at 800-877-7195.
*Not available with self-funded coverage or VSP vision savings pass.
To help in-network dental providers continue to provide quality service in a safe environment, we’ll automatically pay any in-network dental provider $7 per member for in-office visits from June 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020*. This payment will not reduce the patient’s calendar year maximum for 2020, and additional charges for PPE are the patient’s responsibility. New York dentists should not charge patients a separate fee for PPE according to the State of New York Department of Financial Services circular letter.
*Excludes self-funded coverage
Premiums and payments
We extended grace periods to 60 days for monthly bills through June 1, 2020.
Plus, we’re actively monitoring grace period changes at a state level and will implement those requirements that have an extended grace period.
This is a rapidly changing situation. We’ll continue to monitor and adjust information, so check back for updates.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-843-1371.
Yes, log in to your account on principal.com to change your payment preferences.
Take care of your mental health with employee assistance programs
We know you may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious. As a customer with benefits through your employer, you have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Currently, Principal and Magellan are extending telephonic EAP support during this COVID-19 crisis. Contact Magellan Healthcare 24/7 at 800-450-1327 for free, confidential consultation services.
Insurance issued by Principal Life Insurance Co. Plan administrative services offered by Principal Life. Principal National and Principal Life are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, Iowa 50392.
This information is intended only as a general announcement. It is not a complete statement of the rights, benefits, limitations, and exclusions of the coverage described here. For cost and coverage details, contact your Principal Life representative. Principal® has arranged with Magellan Healthcare to make its Employee Assistance Program (EAP) available to employees with group disability coverage insured by Principal Life Insurance Company. EAP isn’t part of the insurance contract or policy and may be changed or cancelled at any time. Not all services available to group policies issued in New York. Magellan is responsible for all EAP services provided through this program. EAP services in California are provided through Magellan Health Services of California, Inc. Employer Services. Magellan isn’t a member of the Principal Financial Group®. CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE (SPECIFIED DISEASE IN NY) PROVIDES LIMITED BENEFITS.