State Orders Insurers to Keep Ohioans Covered

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — With Gov. Mike DeWine declaring a state of emergency March 9, the Ohio Department of Insurance is issuing an order to insurers in the state to allow employers to take care of employees with a grace period for insurance premiums, said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

Under the order, insurers must provide the option of deferring premium payments, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days from the original premium due date, Husted said Friday. Insurers must also allow employers to continue covering employees, even if those employees become ineligible to receive health care benefits due to a decrease in hours.

“We hope this will give them some relief during this time,” Husted said.

DeWine, along with Democrat Govs. Jay Inslee of Washington and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, as well as Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, sent a letter asking President Donald Trump to immediately unlock existing federal funding from the disaster unemployment account, which would make funding available for workers submitting a 1099 or other types of employees who currently are ineligible.

They also sent a request to Congress to make the funding available “for the prompt relief of these employees,” Husted said.

“It is incredibly important that the federal government step in and help these people who are displaced” as a result of the actions taken to protect the health and safety of Ohioans, Husted said.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.