Carrier requires the group submit a request to GBS to defer premium payment for up to 2 months with no interest or penalty. These two months of premium (for example March & April) will be deferred and carried forward. A payment schedule to catch up unpaid premium will allow for the balance for those two months to be spread out through the remainder of the 2020 calendar year. As long as the subsequent monthly premium and the additional scheduled payments are made, the group will not be cancelled for non-payment. NOTE: Groups must be paid current up to the month prior to deferral.
Employees who are furloughed / laid off temporarily may continue on the benefit plan as active employees as long as premium payments are paid (Note: the premium payment extension as defined on this chart does apply). Employers are required to notify GBS of the employee status and this will be identified in the carrier system.
CareFirst will waive the waiting period required but employers must identify the status of the employee in requesting this consideration.
Employees who experience a reduction in hours may continue on the benefit plan as active employees as long as premium payments are paid (Note: the premium payment extension as defined on this chart does apply). Employers are required to notify GBS of the employee status and this will be identified in the carrier system.
The coronavirus pandemic has left us with many questions as we look to resume daily routines and business. One of the top questions facing employers is how to transition employees back to the workplace while maintaining a safe working environment.
There is recent interest in using serology/antibody (blood) testing to detect COVID-19 antibodies and determine if someone has been infected in the past. Unfortunately, antibody testing accuracy remains unproven, and the Centers for Disease Control warns these tests can be wrong half the time.
Although, as required by a federal mandate, CareFirst and plan sponsors will fully cover the cost of FDA-authorized and medically necessary antibody testing when ordered by a doctor, nurse practitioner or other authorized provider, we agree these tests should not determine return to workplace policies.
- Recent guidance from the CDC specifically states serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace.
- Positive test results can’t guarantee a person will be protected from COVID-19 if they're exposed to the virus again.
- There is no known level of protection or duration of protection.
- The presence of antibodies does not mean the individual can’t still transmit the virus, as it is common for people who do not have any symptoms to spread the virus.
This coverage for antibody/serology testing is effective from April 11, 2020 through the end of the national health emergency.
Serologic testing is an active area of research. CareFirst anticipates continued development in testing efficacy and will continue to provide timely updates.
For additional information about antibody testing, please visit our online FAQs.
All FAQs can be found on the Coronavirus Resource Center on Carefirst.com.
CareFirst will extend their Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for fully insured employer groups and individuals through June 15th, 2020. This SEP allows uninsured employees as well as their spouses and/or dependents an opportunity to join the medical plan without the need for a qualifying event. It applies to enrollment only; no plan changes. The opportunity extends to those employees who previously did not elect or who waived coverage and who do not have coverage elsewhere. Employees will be eligible for benefits upon the effective date determined by their employer.
Premium payment deferral does not apply to DCHL, stand alone products and ASO groups. For individual coverage, an announcement will be forthcoming within the next week at which time CFS expects to have information available for members to enroll via a web based process. Additional information may be found at www.carefirst.com in the new Coronavirus Resource Center