March 23, 2020: Guardian Response to COVID-19

Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Guardian has released updates pertaining to eligibility, grace periods, claims, and more.

To read more on this policy update, click here.

Some Key Points:

  • Guardian is extending the grace period for all of our groups by 30 days. So if a group has a 30 day grace period it will be extended to 60 days.
  • Effective 3/1/2020, for all lines other than Disability, Guardian will continue to consider an employee who is currently enrolled to be eligible for benefits until 4/30/2020 if the full-time employee’s hours are reduced and fall below the minimum hourly work requirement to be benefit eligible or if the employee is furloughed or laid off, as long as the group continues to pay premium for these coverages. 
  • STD Quarantine Rider update
    • Some contracts written with 9/1/16 or later effective dates include this rider, which covers employees who are suspected of carrying or having been exposed to an infectious and contagious disease and are ordered by a doctor to quarantine and are unable to perform the major duties of their job. Guardian is no longer offering the quarantine rider on any new contracts moving forward nor converting any existing contracts to include this rider.
  • Is sickness due to COVID-19 Covered under my STD plan?
    • Yes. Employees covered by a Guardian Short Term Disability plan may be eligible for benefits like any other sickness if they are diagnosed wit COVID-19 and are sick and unable to perform the major duties of their job.
  • Is Family Medical Leave (FML) applicable for employees who need to be absent due to the coronavirus?
    • In order to be eligible for FML, an employee or family member they’re caring for needs to have medical documentation that certifies the individual’s condition meets the definition of a serious health condition.

Disclaimer: Please note that these policies are subject to change due to carrier, local government, state government, or federal government regulation.

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