Allstate Benefits COVID-19 FAQs
Benefits are available for the period in which the coverage is active. After the extended grace period, if the coverage lapses, benefits are not available for any period in which the coverage is terminated.
No additional action is needed by the employer or employee. Allstate Benefits will automatically extend the grace period for 120 days for any premium payments not received. If payment will not be made prior to the end of the extended grace, the employer must notify Allstate Benefits of any employees no longer on payroll deductions via their standard termination methods. Please note: Cash value life products such as Universal Life may be impacted if the fund value is not maintained. The annual statement is provided for the individual to review and make any adjustments, if needed. Allstate will notify the individual if their life coverage begins a 60-day grace period status.
There is no premium relief currently. There are extended grace periods, as explained above. However, if coverage lapses after the extended grace and the employee returns to work by November 1, 2020, Allstate Benefits is allowing for reactivation of coverage with no penalties.
If an employee is not receiving payroll deductions, under the Reactivation of Coverage accommodation, their payroll deductions can resume upon returning to work. If the coverage lapsed, there will be a gap in coverage.
Actively Employed means individual is working for the employer for earnings that are paid regularly and that the individual is performing the material and substantial duties of their own occupation. Individual will be deemed to be in active employment on a day which is not the employer's scheduled work days only if the individual was an active employee on the preceding scheduled work day. Normal vacation is considered active employment. However, if vacation days are used to cover disability, sickness or injury, those days are not considered active employment. An employee may be considered actively employed if they are working from home, part-time or furloughed due to temporary lay-off but still on pay-roll, not terminated from business.
Allstate Benefits standard portability protocol will be followed. Terminations from payroll billing will trigger portability for all applicable products. The extended grace period discussed above will be applied for those needing additional time.
If an employer asks Allstate Benefits to remove an employee from payroll billing, we automatically send a portability communication to the employee. The employee can then request portability if desired.
A change to paid temporary leave status would only trigger portability if it was requested by the employer.
Furlough leave status would only trigger portability if it was requested by the employer.
If an individual is no longer going to be payroll deducted, we would handle based on employer’s request.
Allstate Benefits sends a letter to employees when portability is automatically triggered or requested. Employees are required to complete and return a form to indicate their desire to continue coverage. Our Customer Care Center is fully operational and can answer employees’ questions about the process.
Any payroll deductions that have already been taken should be remitted to Allstate Benefits. Allstate Benefits will continue to invoice, and process payments received from employers and individuals. Allstate Benefits has the robust business continuity process that allows us to continue our operations during this time.
Allstate Benefits does not need to be notified if the employer remits adjusted amounts when deductions resume.
Based on how we plan to support missed deductions, we anticipate that coverage would be behind. If an individual wants to remit premiums, we can inform them of the amount due. Alternatively, we can work with the employer on account-specific processes they request for their employees.
Allstate Benefits will be adding an insert into the first direct bill notice advising employees of the Reactivation of Coverage accommodation.
Please see above Allstate Benefits extension of a Grace period for 120 days for those employers and employees impacted.
Unless the employer asks us to place employees on direct bill, the coverage would remain behind and the individuals’ missed deductions would be recouped at the time of claim. We would anticipate the employer recouping the missed deductions once the employer resumes business operations.
Allstate Benefits has all business processes functioning, so we will continue to support our customers. We apply and reconcile premiums at the individual level, so we will be able to determine total missed premiums for individuals and group voluntary products administered on the Life70 system. Our products administered on our Genelco platform (e.g., GIM2) are held at the employer level for most of the business. On an exception basis, we can move them to an individual basis.
Since we reconcile premium at the individual level, we will recoup missed deductions via a claim or if the employer or employee remits the shortage.
We can show employers the amount of premium received versus the amount of premium due at an individual policy level. For products administered on our Genelco platform, we can provide outstanding balances on a group level.
We would follow our normal processes, which are to only move individuals to direct bill if requested by the individual or the employer. Once payroll resumes, we would move employees back to payroll if their coverage remains active and it is requested by either the employer or the employee. If the employer plans on using the Reactivation of Coverage accommodation, upon employees returning to work and payroll deductions resuming, they will need to notify us by sending the information to ABFEPPlan@allstate.com before November 1, 2020.
We don’t anticipate sending any files based on the process we will be supporting, which are described above. However, if an employer would like a file we will work with the broker / employer to help provide any reporting or files they need.
As much as possible, we anticipate business as usual for all those that can continue. Allstate Benefits is fully operational, so we are currently handling business as usual.
Insured may be eligible to receive benefits for COVID-19 if they are disabled as defined under their disability coverage. Under the policy, insured may be required to be actively at work when the disability begins. Refer to the policy documentation to see whether there is an elimination period and its duration, as the applicable elimination period applies.
Generally, quarantined workers are not considered to be disabled unless they have a medical condition that results in restrictions and limitations that satisfy a policy’s definition of disability.
Quarantining due to exposure is not a sickness or injury nor does it require an individual to be under physician’s care. Therefore, disability benefits would not be payable solely for quarantining.
No, “infectious disease” is not a covered critical illness under the Group Voluntary Critical Illness plan (GVCI 1/2/4).
Under the Group Voluntary Accident plan (GVA 1/2/6), a visit to a physician outside of a hospital facility for any reason could qualify for benefit under the Outpatient Physicians Treatment (OPT) Benefit/Rider.
The COVID-19 test is not on the specified list of medical tests covered by the Group Voluntary Critical Illness plan (GVCI 1/2/4) Wellness Benefit/Rider. However, if any of the tests on the list are performed, the benefit will be paid, regardless of why the test may have been ordered. For example, if an insured has a chest x-ray, the Wellness benefit/rider will pay a specified amount regardless if the doctor ordered the chest x-ray over a concern of COVID-19 or bronchitis. The benefit is payable once per covered person, per calendar year.
The COVID-19 test is not specifically covered under the Hospital Indemnity Plan (GIM1). However, the GIM1 Wellness and Preventive Test Benefit pays a benefit when a covered person has a routine physical examination or preventive test performed while not confined to a hospital. Eligible examinations and tests include a physical examination performed by a physician. This benefit is limited to 1 day per covered person per coverage year; and not payable if a benefit is payable under the Outpatient Diagnostic X-ray and Laboratory Benefit.
For payment of benefits under a Hospital Indemnity plan, Allstate Benefits requires a room and board charge. Here is more information about specific benefits under our Hospital Indemnity plans:
Initial Hospitalization Benefit (GIM1/2) - Benefit will be paid on the first confinement to a hospital during a calendar year, provided a benefit is paid under the Daily Hospital Confinement Benefit in the policy. This benefit is payable only once per covered person, per calendar year.
Daily Hospital Confinement Benefit (GIM1/2) - Daily hospital benefit will be paid for each day a covered person is admitted to and confined as an inpatient in a hospital as a result of sickness or injury.
Hospital Intensive Care Unit Confinement Benefit (GIM1/2) - Benefit will be paid for each day a covered person is confined to a hospital intensive care unit, provided a benefit is also paid under the Daily Hospital Confinement Benefit. A day is a 24-hour period. This benefit is paid in addition to the Daily Hospital Confinement Benefit.
Please visit https://www.allstatevoluntary.com/covid19/benefits.php for a listing of all available plan benefits that may be covered related to COVID-19.
Allstate Benefits customer service and claims departments are fully functional and can be reached at the following phone numbers:
Customer Care Center:
1-800-211-5533 *Se Habla Español
Monday-Friday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
Claims Customer Service:
No, the Employer is not required to withhold deductions for periods in which an employee did not receive a paycheck. If the missed deductions are not remitted, any back premiums may be eligible to be withheld from the claim benefit at time of claim.
The following questions apply to groups with our partnered products including, EyeMed Vision and GAP1 & GAP2 (underwritten by Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company) or Group PPO Dental (underwritten by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America).
As long as the contract is inforce, continuation of coverage is available. However, these products are NOT portable. If the contract terminates, no continuation can be offered. If the employees were terminated, and they are not being rehired, then the employer should offer COBRA continuation or state continuation to those employees from their date of separation.
If employees have a definitive/tentative return-to-work date, the employer may continue to pay for these employees (premium recoupment would be between the employer and employee) or send in documentation to AB advising of their intention to keep the contract inforce, the list of impacted employees and confirmation that they intend to work with the employee to pay any unpaid premiums once they return to work. This notice should be submitted by the responsible officer of the company on letterhead or in an e-mail with identifying information (title & contact information).
Example communication: Due to COVID-19, we are terminating a number of employees as well as putting some on furlough. As a result, we know this will have an impact on our (Dental, Vision, GAP) coverage through Allstate Benefits. First and foremost, we would like to maintain this coverage for our employees during this time regardless of ability to pay premiums through payroll deductions or satisfying participation. For those employees who are being terminated and will not return, we are offering them COBRA or state continuation to continue their coverage. For those on furlough, we would like to continue their coverage providing a tentative return to work date of XX/XX/2020 and an opportunity to pay unpaid premiums once they have returned. Additionally, we are requesting that all employees who return to work and were previously covered, are not made to satisfy a new-hire waiting period (all products) or begin a new major-services waiting period (dental only).
GAP coverage is tied to the employer’s underlying major medical plan. As such, any delay in annual enrollment, changes to enrollment or eligibility or plan design changes to the underlying major medical plan, must be provided in writing with documentation from the major medical carrier to SIS so they can apply those changes accordingly to the GAP plan. Note, changes to employer contribution toward the GAP premium must also be provided as this may impact rates.
Requests to delay open enrollment to a future date for all partnered products should be sent to the appropriate underwriting team to address. Please copy the Account Installation Unit (AIU) and Group Premium Admin (GPA) on any requests that are sent in from these groups to ensure that underwriting, installation/new business and billing are all notified at the same time that a request is being made of our partners.
Coverage is subject to exclusions and limitations. The information in these FAQ’s does not alter or modify the insurance contract and claims will be administered according to the policy provisions.