Coronavirus and COVID-19 Resources for Employers and Workers – Apex Benefits

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COVID-19 Resources for Employers & Workers

INTRODUCTION

As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, we offer the following timely resources to help you, your organization and your employees. These resources are intended to assist in managing and mitigating impact of the outbreak on businesses and their employees.

This content is provided by Apex Benefits as a public service for informational and educational purposes only. Use of the blog/content does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship, as Apex Benefits is not a law firm or engaged in the practice of law. The information provided is general and should not be relied on as legal advice, which cannot be provided without full consideration of all relevant information relating to specific situations.

Rapid Response: CARES Act SBA Loan Provisions

Signed into law March 27, 2020
The Apex Benefits and Axiom Human Resource Solutions present “Rapid Response,” a breakdown for employers and workers of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Experts Walk Through Families First Legislation

Released on March 20, 2020 | Effective April 1, 2020
The DOL has issued preliminary guidance located here.  For comprehensive FAQs, please see our March 20 blog and view the video below.

Resources for Employers

Take action now to mitigate impact on future plan costs

Will COVID-19 lead to increases come 2021 renewals? How can you cust costs or create efficiencies today to reduce potential impact?

Strategies for Cost Reduction

Read More

CARRIER INFORMATION

Please contact your Apex representative with specific questions.

Anthem

UnitedHealthcare & UMR

GPA

IU Health

SIHO

Delta Dental

Guardian

The Hartford

REINSURER INFORMATION

Please contact your Apex representative with specific questions.

WorkplaceWellness @Home

Virtual Wellness Opportunities

Today we have to be creative about workplace wellness … our team is offering virtual opportunities. Join us for Meditation Mondays, Wellness Wednesdays and Fitness Fridays. Just log on!

COVID-19 Statistics

Indiana Statistics | May 19, 2020

Source:

Indiana Department of Health

US & International Statistics: Real Time

Source:

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

Blogs & News Articles: COVID-19 and Your Employees

June 23, 2020
Employee meeting with coworkers on video call

Have You Kept Your Employees Engaged During Stay-at-Home Orders?

Maintaining a strong company culture with engaged employees is crucial to organizations, as studies prove a more active workforce results in a more productive company. When office doors were shut, interactions with co-workers were limited to email, phone calls or video conferences. That’s obviously not an ideal situation — and companies were forced to get creative.
Read more...
June 15, 2020
Pile of pills spilling out onto an invoice sheet

How Do You Curb Specialty Drug Spend?

Drugs can become “specialty drugs” because of the way they are manufactured, distributed, or treat rare disorders, among other reasons. Specialty drugs are expensive, and they can quickly wreck a pharmacy benefit budget, too. Just one specialty drug could cost 85 percent or more of a plan’s total spend on pharmacy and drugs for the year.
Read more...
June 9, 2020
Woman stressed out looking at papers

How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting Recent College Graduates

You probably know a recent college graduate who is struggling to find a job right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to many companies’ hiring plans. For those graduates who have been fortunate enough to secure a job before or even during the chaos, it probably looks a lot different than they imagined.
Read more...
June 5, 2020
A pile of medicine

Where is Your Drug Spend Headed in New FDA-Approved Therapies?

Looking at the calendar, 2020 is nearing the halfway point. While many may not be sad to see this year go, one thing we like to do here at Apex in the pharmacy benefits team is pause and review new FDA drug and therapeutic approvals for the year.
Read more...
June 2, 2020

Fact or Fiction: Busting Myths About COVID-19

On a nearly daily basis it seems like there is new information released about COVID-19. It could be details on vaccine trials, newly infected or death numbers, or information about modes of transmission. Unfortunately, because information is so easy to distribute and receive now, some of it isn’t always accurate.
Read more...
May 28, 2020

Preparing Your Company for Potential Second COVID-19 Wave

Our local restaurants are starting to reopen for business. Some shopping centers are also opening back up to customers. While these businesses aren’t yet operating at full capacity, life is starting its slow progression back to what it was like before COVID-19 became a global pandemic. But there’s still a question everyone should be asking as we enter the summer months: Will the virus come back?
Read more...

Top HR FAQs

During a pandemic, may an employer require its employees to adopt infection-control practices, such as regular hand washing, at the workplace?

Yes. Requiring infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal, does not implicate the ADA. source

When may an ADA-covered employer take the body temperature of employees during a Coronavirus-like event?

Generally, measuring an employee’s body temperature is a medical examination. If pandemic influenza symptoms become more severe than the seasonal flu or the H1N1 virus in the spring/summer of 2009, or if pandemic influenza becomes widespread in the community as assessed by state or local health authorities or the CDC, then employers may measure employees’ body temperature. However, employers should be aware that some people with influenza, including the 2009 H1N1 virus, do not have a fever. source

Does the ADA allow employers to require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of the Coronavirus?

Yes. The CDC states that employees who become ill with symptoms of influenza-like illness at work during a pandemic should leave the workplace. Advising such workers to go home is not a disability-related action if the illness is akin to seasonal influenza or the 2009 spring/summer H1N1 virus. Additionally, the action would be permitted under the ADA if the illness were serious enough to pose a direct threat. source

When employees return to work, does the ADA allow employers to require doctors’ notes certifying their fitness for duty?

Yes. Such inquiries are permitted under the ADA either because they would not be disability-related or, if the pandemic influenza were truly severe, they would be justified under the ADA standards for disability-related inquiries of employees.

As a practical matter, however, doctors and other health care professionals may be too busy during and immediately after a pandemic outbreak to provide fitness-for-duty documentation. Therefore, new approaches may be necessary, such as reliance on local clinics to provide a form, a stamp, or an e-mail to certify that an individual does not have the pandemic virus. source

*Non-punitive leave policies should be evaluated and implemented to increase physical distance among employees.

How is Apex handling this outbreak?

Our leadership team continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and is working to stay ahead of (or at least to quickly respond to) changing conditions. We are relying on groups like CDC, WHO and other reputable organizations to provide critical information about the ways in which employers can support team members and help our communities manage the spread of this virus. Monitor this blog feed for continual updates as to how Apex is managing the situation for its employees.

Downloadable Resources

SHRM | Social Distancing
DOL, FMLA and COVID-19
CDC Coronavirus Guide for Businesses
HR Compliance Bulletin
Lincoln | Monitoring COVID-19 031320
WHO Coping with Stress
COVID-19 Best Practices
Lincoln | COVID-19 Best Practices
HIPAA Privacy Rules COVID-19
HIPAA Privacy Rules COVID-19
COVID-19 Bill Requiring Paid Leave
COVID-19 Bill Requiring Paid Leave
If You're Sick with COVID-19

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