Empire BCBS COVID-19 Update: Premium Grace Period Policy

See below from Empire regarding their New York Premium Grace Period Policy

Notice of grace period extension in certain circumstances due to COVID-19

New requirements have been issued for Individual and Small Group policies in New York. COVID-19 isn’t just impacting health – it’s also affecting the way your clients do business. In the event they are experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19, we want you to know that per a recent New York State insurance regulation, they now have until June 1, 2020 to pay their health insurance premium.

The regulation temporarily changes the grace period for Individual and Small Group fully-insured health insurance policyholders who experience financial hardship due to COVID-19. This applies to commercial Small Group and Individual subscribers except for APTC/subsidy recipients as well as full-payment Child Health Plus subscribers.Please note, this does not mean the obligation to remit premium is waived or excused for this period. If your clients advise us, through their groups’ Benefits Administrator, that they are experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 that makes it difficult to pay their premium on time, their grace period is extended. They will have until June 1, 2020 to pay premium that was due on March 1, April 1 and/or May 1. Small Group fully-insured policyholders who qualify under the provisions of the regulation are required to give Empire written attestation of hardship due to COVID-19 by sending notice of financial hardship to NYGracePeriod@empireblue.com.

IMPORTANT: The regulation requires insurers as well as agents to directly notify their health insurance policyholders in writing of the provisions of the emergency regulation by April 21. You can send these notices to your Individual and Small Group clients with Empire coverage to fulfill that obligation.

To fulfill our notice obligation as insurer, we’ll email and/or mail the notice to impacted health insurance policyholders beginning on April 17, 2020.

As our communities continue to implement measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and care for those impacted by it, we have implemented a number of actions to create greater access to care for more people in New York. We will continue to be a partner with state and public officials as we work together to protect public health and provide access to care and peace of mind for New York residents.

We’re here to help. If you have questions, please contact your Empire sales representative.