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Healthcare benefits during coronavirus

Continued health coverage, paid sick leave, financial wellness programs and more take the spotlight in wake of COVID-19.
By: | March 23, 2020 • 1 min read
Topics: Uncategorized
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

<= 8 benefits to zero in on during the coronavirus pandemic

Comprehensive and continued medical and disability coverage is vital in wake of the pandemic. Without it, employees could go into debt and bankruptcy as they face treatment or become hospitalized due to coronavirus.

“We do not know what COVID-19 is entirely, but people want to know that if they contract it, they’re covered,” Gimbel says.

Though it’s important for all employees, continued health coverage is essential for workers who are temporarily suspended from their jobs as industries and businesses temporarily shut down. Employers would be wise to continue coverage for them, experts say.

“Obviously, income continuation due not only to illness, but also for employees who are healthy but unable to work is critically important,” explains Rich Fuerstenberg, senior partner in Mercer’s life, accident and disability national practice. “Some employers won’t be able to continue income for the latter group for an extended period of time, if at all, especially for hourly employees in low-margin industries. For those employees, continuation of health benefits—likely without employee contributions since there may be no pay from which to take contributions—will be valuable at a time when those with a COVID-19 diagnosis may need to access care.”

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Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.

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