On March 9, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine, declared a state of emergency in Ohio to protect the well-being of Ohioans from the dangerous effects of COVID-19, and directed state agencies to develop and implement procedures consistent with recommendations from the Department of Health, designed to prevent or alleviate the public health threat.
One such order deals with health insurance premiums, especially those that are paid by or through employers. Here are the main points of the order:
Insurers must permit employers to continue covering employees under a group policy, even if they would otherwise be ineligible due to a change in hours.
Grace Period for Premium Payment
All insurers must give the insureds the option to defer premium payments, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days.
For employers with 20 or more employees, as long as there is one person actively employed, eligible employees may elect to continue coverage under COBRA.
For employers with fewer than 20 employees, as long as one person is actively employed and enrolled in the plan, eligible employees may elect to continue coverage for up to twelve months.
Employees who lose coverage are eligible for a special enrollment period to enroll in new coverage.