From the Desk of Allison Johnson - COVID & Workers Comp- What you need to Know
(Posted on 03/01/21)
I am sure that you, like me, are tired of seeing emails flying around about treatment for COVID-19. All that we really want is to make sure that people have access to testing and affordable treatment, but it seems that every time we turn, there’s a new rule. The particular rule we’re talking about today is the coverage of COVID claims under Workers Comp instead of Health Insurance.
The idea behind this rule, passed by NJ back in September, is that essential workers are being exposed to COVID because of their jobs, and therefore, the claims belong to the Workers Compensation plan, rather than the health insurance. The trick to this is that it does only affect those designated as essential workers, which include:
- First responders
- Healthcare workers
- Those whose jobs are essential and performed in close proximity to the public, and are essential to the public’s health, safety, and welfare, including transportation services, hotel and other residential services, financial services, and the production, preparation, storage, sale, and distribution of essential goods such as food, beverages, medicine, fuel, and supplies for conducting essential business and work at home
- Anyone else whose job was deemed essential during the state of emergency, such as:
- grocery/food store employees;
- pharmacy employees;
- medical supply store employees;
- employees in retail functions of gas stations;
- convenience store employees;
- cashier and store clerks;
- construction workers; or
- employees providing childcare services to “essential employees.”
While this won’t affect all of our clients, a good amount will need to be aware of this rule. Carriers may do outreach to members or groups to ensure that claims are being processed under the correct insurance. The NJ state website still has resources to help employees and employers understand what benefits are available to them for assistance with COVID. If you have questions on any of this, please feel free to reach out to our team.