COVID-19 Policyholder Resources
Last Updated: 5/27/2020
On this page, you'll find the latest information about COVID-19 as it relates to your workforce and workers' compensation policy.
- Safety & Health
- Managing Claims
- Managing Your Policy
- Additional Information
COVID-19 poses a potentially serious public health threat. Certain individuals may be at a higher risk depending on the nature of their work and exposure levels and the extent to which their work involves sustained human-to-human interaction.
Workplace Safety Resources
The spread of the novel coronavirus presents unique safety and health risks, requiring changes in when, how and where many of us work. In addition, social distancing measures have completely changed how employees interact in the workplace.
MEMIC recognizes that with changing work practices, employees may be exposed to additional risks, as they perform new tasks or must perform work in a manner that restricts human-to-human contact. While keeping each other safe and preventing the spread of the coronavirus is a top priority, the last thing anybody wants is an injury.
MEMIC’s library of COVID-19 Workplace Safety Resources is updated regularly with tools and resources you can use right now to help keep you and your employees safe during these challenging times.
Our Loss Control staff also are delivering services remotely, including ergonomic assessments for workstations, both home office and at worksites.
CDC Guidance for Employers
All employers need to consider how best to slow the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in their workplace through the following activities:
- reduce transmission among employees,
- maintain healthy business operations, and
- maintain a healthy work environment.
- The CDC offers interim guidance to help businesses and employers plan, prepare and respond to the coronavirus.
- OSHA also has an in-depth guide to help workplaces prepare for COVID-19.
Combating Fraud & Scams
Be aware that criminals are attempting to exploit COVID-19 worldwide through a variety of scams and will likely continue to do so, especially during financial disruptions. Please note that MEMIC only sells its workers’ compensation policies through trusted agency partners. Never purchase a policy or change policy terms without first contacting your agent.
Visit the U.S. Department of Justice website to learn more about how to avoid these scams and how to file a report if you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19.
The successful recovery and eventual return to work of injured workers remains the top priority for our team of claim specialists. Injured workers will continue to receive their approved benefits and should be in contact with their healthcare providers to continue their recovery.
Below you will find information about the compensability of COVID-19 claims, guidance on claim reporting and accessing healthcare providers. If you have questions about your benefits or recovery, please contact your claim specialist at (800) 660-1306.
COVID-19 Claim Compensability
MEMIC’s team of claim specialists will thoroughly investigate COVID-19 claims on a case-by-case basis and evaluate whether an employee’s illness related to COVID-19 occurred during the course and scope of employment and resulted from a workplace exposure. Once a complete investigation is conducted, compensability of the claim will be determined by the facts and applicable jurisdictional law. An injury or a diagnosis of an illness is a requirement for all claims.
As with any claimed occupational disease, the factual and medical evidence regarding exposure will be essential to the compensability determination. Certain types of employment or circumstances specific to your business may carry a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure than others, for example, front line healthcare workers. We will carefully weigh all factors presented in each potential COVID-19 claim before making any compensability determination.
The more widespread COVID-19 becomes, the more difficult it may be for an employee to show that it is work related rather than an ordinary disease of life to which the general public is exposed, particularly where the employee or members of the employee’s household may be at risk of exposure in their daily lives.
COVID-19 Claim Reporting
If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 or has exhibited COVID-19 symptoms due to exposure to someone with COVID-19 at work, take all necessary health and safety precautions, and if the COVID-19 exposure is work related, report the claim to MEMIC immediately by completing the Report of Injury online or call us at 1-800-MEMIC WC (1-800-636-4292).
Suspected exposure to COVID-19 generally is not considered an injury for purposes of workers’ compensation, and thus exposure-only claims may be denied if there is not a positive diagnosis. If you have questions about whether you should report a COVID-19 incident as a claim, please call us.
Access to Healthcare Providers
Continuing to receive healthcare services is critical for injured workers to move forward in their recovery. Even with longer wait times for appointments, injured workers should continue to contact their healthcare providers.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, many facilities that serve injured workers have closed to protect public health. Telemedicine provides injured workers with an opportunity to continue their care even as brick and mortar clinics temporarily close their doors. Check with your providers to see if they have shifted to digital care or talk to your MEMIC claim specialist about telemedicine availability.
As we all continue to monitor and adapt to measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19, MEMIC has taken steps to help support our policyholders who rely on us for workers' compensation coverage during this difficult time. Please see the information below regarding coverage, payroll reporting and classification, and billing and payments.
Temporary Business Closure & Payroll Fluctuations
Your policy can remain in force even if you have temporarily closed your business or have employees who are not working. Please contact your agent if you want to adjust your estimated payroll to reflect any temporary shut-down of your operations. Changes in payroll estimates will appear in your next installment invoice.
For policies on Comp-As-You-Go (CAYG), please continue to report payroll online. If you have any questions or updates, please contact the CAYG Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-660-1306, ext. 3500.
If you have or are expecting payroll fluctuations due to COVID-19 and your policy is scheduled to renew soon, you may want to consider enrolling in Comp-As-You-Go—our payroll-based payment program. Talk with your agent to see if this is a good option for your business.
Furloughed and Reassigned Employees
If you have furloughed or temporarily reassigned employees into new roles due to COVID-19, this may impact your payroll classification(s). There are specific rating bureau rules that address different scenarios. Please contact your agent to discuss your circumstances.
You need to keep separate, accurate, and verifiable records for each furloughed and reassigned employee (wages paid and furlough/reassignment length). These records will be required during your audit to calculate premium accurately. If separate records are not maintained, the payroll classification for work normally performed by the employee before any COVID-19 emergency orders, laws, or regulations will be assigned.
- Furloughed Employees
If you have furloughed employees due to COVID-19, this may impact your payroll classification(s). Many states' rating bureaus will allow the exclusion of wages in the premium calculation for employees who are paid but do not work due to COVID-19. Certain states, such as New York, will classify such wages as clerical. Please contact your insurance agent to find out if these classifications apply to you.
"Paid furloughed employees" means employees who continue to receive payments during a temporary layoff or an involuntary leave and are not performing any work duties for an employer. To be considered furloughed, an individual cannot be working at all, nor can they be on any job site. Funds used to pay furloughed employees can come from any source, provided the furloughed employees remain on your payroll.
If an employee works part of the day and is furloughed for the remainder of the day, their entire wages will be included as payroll, and the furlough payroll classification cannot be applied.
The exclusion of wages paid to furloughed employees is not permanent. These rule changes are due to the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19 and expire on December 31, 2020. They are in effect for new and renewal policies during each state's mandated emergency period.
Suspension of work due to weather, delays, standby time, and similar downtime is considered idle time and is included as payroll and classified based on the employee's regular work.
- Working from Home Employees
Wages may be reclassified for those employees required to work from home with new job functions. Most states consider this a change in job function and allow these wages to be classified as clerical if the employee strictly works in a clerical capacity for an extended period. If an employee continuously alters from clerical to (an)other job function(s), the higher-rated class code applies to the entire payroll.
Note that code 8810 "Clerical Office Employee" is not permitted if your classification already includes clerical, such as a code 8832, "Physician's Office & Clerical."
Billing, Payments, and Cancellations
On March 13, 2020, MEMIC temporarily suspended non-pay cancellations, conditional renewals and non-renewals for policyholders experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will start to resume our standard cancellation procedures when the states' mandated financial grace periods expire, and any outstanding premium payment balances become due.
Once we resume standard cancellation procedures, policyholders with an outstanding balance will receive a notice of cancellation issued per state law(s). These notices provide policyholders with a certain number of days to pay outstanding amounts before the cancellation becomes effective. The number of advanced days' notice depends on the state laws where you have workers' compensation coverage. If you receive a cancellation notice and are unable to make the payment, please contact your agent or our Premium Accounting Department.
Please keep in mind that your payroll estimates directly impact your premium payments. Decreasing any currently overstated estimates would lower your premium and remaining installment payments. Please contact your insurance agent to make any necessary amendments to your payroll estimates. MEMIC can also send you a self-audit form to see if your actual payroll is in line with your current payroll estimates.
MEMIC understands the financial hardships caused by COVID- 19, and we are here to help. If you are unable to pay the overdue premium or would like more information about when your grace period expires, please contact your agent or our Premium Accounting Department as soon as possible to discuss your available options. We are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST at 1-800-660-1306 or email@example.com.
We will continue to monitor applicable COVID-19 developments and requirements and will adjust our payment and billing policies accordingly. Please contact your agent or our Premium Accounting Department at 800-660-1306 or firstname.lastname@example.org about any payment concerns.
Like every employer, we are monitoring and adapting to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and will continue to keep our policyholders updated. Health organizations across the globe are working hard to provide the information needed to protect themselves. Here are some links to the organizations that MEMIC is continuing to refer to for guidance and recommendations.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
More information about coronavirus workplace safety can be found on our COVID-19 Safety Resources page.
Pandemic Recovery Safety Planning
MEMIC's Pandemic Recovery Safety Plan Template provides a framework to help businesses create a detailed safety policy for returning to work following a pandemic.
Workplace Safety Resources
MEMIC’s library of COVID-19 Workplace Safety Resources is updated regularly with tools and resources you can use right now to help keep you and your employees safe during these challenging times.COVID-19 Safety Resources
Ask a Safety Expert
We know your business is unique and so then are your workplace safety issues. If you have a particular safety question, send it along. We'll get back to you right away.Ask a Safety Expert
CDC Guidance for Employers
Additional guidance in multiple languages is available from the CDC website:
Resources for Businesses and Employers
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facilities
How to Protect Yourself and Others
Travel Guide and Travel Health Notices
Symptoms of Acute Respiratory Illness (coronavirus)