COVID-19 – Frequently Asked Questions

March 10, 2020

Is testing for COVID-19 covered under my Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) Plan?

Yes. To comply with the requirements set forth by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law March 18, 2020, MEC plans will cover diagnostic testing and related service visit(s) in regard to COVID-19. Treatment of the virus is not covered under Minimum Essential Coverage Wellness & Preventative Plans. If you have specific questions about coverage and your specific plan please contact ESC Customer Service at 1-866-798-0803.

Is testing for COVID-19 covered under the Fixed Indemnity Medical Plan?

Yes. For employees who are enrolled in the Essential StaffCARE Fixed Indemnity Medical Plan, benefits will be paid for physician’s office visits, testing and lab work related to the diagnosis of the COVID-19 virus. A flat dollar amount will be paid per day based upon the ESC outpatient medical benefit schedule for your specific plan.

Am I covered during an absence or time without an assignment?

Yes. The ESC Fixed Indemnity Medical Plan includes a missed premium accommodation of up to six weeks allowing enrolled employees to make up missed premiums directly with our administrator, Planned Administrators, Inc. After six weeks without a premium payroll deduction, the employee’s Essential StaffCARE group coverage will terminate and the employee will receive a COBRA offer letter sent to their home address. The employee will be able to continue ESC coverage under COBRA at no more than 2% above their Essential StaffCARE group policy premium. If the employee returns to work, they can then re-enroll in payroll deducted coverage.

What if my assignment is suspended or eliminated due to a business shutdown from COVID-19?

If an employee is off the assignment and not receiving a paycheck, the missed premium protocol will remain in effect. Employees can make direct payments for up to six weeks of coverage and retain their policy. After six weeks they will be able to continue coverage through enrollment under COBRA if they so elect.

Who do I contact if I have coverage questions?

If you have additional questions about your coverage or require specific details about the steps we are taking to manage the impact of the COVID-19 virus, please contact ESC Customer Service at 1-866-798-0803.

Where should I get the most up to date information regarding COVID-19? 

For real time COVID-19 updates and news, Essential StaffCARE recommends the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network. The JAMA Network provides a peer-reviewed analysis of the COVID-19 outbreak.  We also recommend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Time off if worksites are closed?

If you are affected by a branch or worksite we will do our best to find you an alternative work assignment or location, if possible. If no alternative work assignment or location is available,  Temporary employees do not receive pay for time not worked or any paid time off benefits.

Does FMLA apply if I contract COVID-19? Does FMLA apply if my spouse or child contracts COVID-19, and I must stay home to care for them?

If all the following criteria are met and you meet the eligibility criteria for FMLA (you have worked 12 months for the Company and have worked 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months), FMLA will apply:

  • – A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days and
  • – Two in-person visits to a health care provider; the first visit within seven days of the first day of incapacity and the second visit within 30 days of the first day of incapacity or
  • – One in-person visit to a health care provider within seven days of the first day of incapacity and subsequent treatment that includes prescription medication

FMLA information and resources are available by contacting your account manager or a member of the HR Staff. 

Can my supervisor schedule me to work hours or shifts that I normally DO NOT work?

Yes, you may be asked to work more hours or different hours than normal if the Company is short staffed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. We will attempt to provide advance notice if possible.