Coronavirus Information for Employers

Updated July 6, 2020


FAQs - COVID-19 Testing

A1. No. Testing requested by employers or testing to screen for general workplace health and safety (such as an employee “return to work” program), or testing for employment purposes are not covered by UHA plans. This aligns with UHA’s Medical Benefits Guide (MBG) and the guidance recently issued by the federal tri-agencies (U.S. departments of: Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury).

A2. UHA members who show no COVID-19 symptoms (asymptomatic) must meet current Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and definitions for UHA to cover their COVID-19 testing. Specifically, the employee must be an individual that has had close contact (any individual who’s been face-to-face within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes) with a laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 patient.

A UHA member’s attending health care provider will determine if testing is medically appropriate for the individual in accordance with current accepted medical standards of CDC guidelines. Please also refer to UHA COVID FAQ: How do I get tested?

A3. Employees in “close contact” means they must meet current Hawaii DOH and CDC guidelines and definitions of being an individual that has had close contact (any individual who’s been face-to-face within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes) with a laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 patient.

For those who do not have symptoms (asymptomatic) and do not meet the above close contact criteria, the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not currently recommend testing.

For those who do not have symptoms (asymptomatic) and do meet the above close contact criteria, an employee’s attending health care provider will determine if a test is medically appropriate for the employee in adherence to Hawaii DOH and CDC guidelines.

UHA members who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should call their doctor and can also refer to UHA COVID FAQ: How do I get tested?

 

FAQs - Eligibility and Premiums

A. Yes, UHA will allow for continuation of coverage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact your Client Services Liaison or Coordinator at (808) 532-4000, ext. 358 or toll free 1-(800) 458-4600, ext. 358 or email [email protected].

A. Yes, UHA will waive waiting-period requirements for members who were furloughed or displaced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but then later return to work. Please contact your Client Services Liaison or Coordinator for details: (808) 532-4000, ext. 358 or toll free 1-(800) 458-4600, ext. 358 or email [email protected].

A. Depending on your regulatory plan status, you can change medical plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please keep in mind that the change may increase out-of-pocket expenses for your employees. Also, please note this is a process that does take some time; UHA must approve the change in plans and be given time to make the change. We recommend at least 60 days to properly execute the change and for you to properly notify your employees.

A. Please contact your Client Services Liaison or Coordinator to determine if your plan status will allow for these changes. Depending on your regulatory plan status, you may be able to make changes to your drug, vision and dental riders. We are here to guide you as current regulations may not permit the exclusion of certain riders. Call us at (808) 532-4000, ext. 358 or toll free 1-(800) 458-4600, ext. 356 or email [email protected]

A. Because health plan coverage begins on the 1st of the month, Hawaii law requires premium payments to be made by that date to avoid a lapse in coverage.

If you anticipate a delay in making a premium payment, please contact one of our Billing Representatives immediately to discuss your alternatives.

UHA is required to give companies 10-day advance notice that a lapse in coverage will occur if payment is not received within the notice period. Again, if you do anticipate a delay in payment or receive a notice of impending termination of your coverage, please call us immediately to discuss payment options. We recognize that the current COVID-19 situation calls for difficult decisions; we want to work with you as every organization is facing different circumstances.

Call us at (808) 532-4000, ext. 353 or toll free 1-(800) 458-4600, ext. 353 or email [email protected].

A. The CARES Act was signed into federal law on March 27, 2020, to provide billions of dollars in relief for American workers and small businesses. It was designed to offer multiple funding options for those seeking relief.

This act established new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak and provide several Coronavirus relief options:

  1. Paycheck Protection Program - An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
  2. EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) Emergency Advance - This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.
  3. SBA Express Bridge Loan - Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
  4. SBA Debt Relief - The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website.

Beginning May 18, 2020, the City and County of Honolulu launched a COVID-19 reimbursement program for small businesses called the Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund.  Please click on the link for more details. 

Local applications for CARES funding can be found at the following:

We recommend that you discuss these programs with your financial and/or tax professional to determine which programs might be best option for you and your business.