Archived: Special insurance information during COVID-19

Hometown Health Offers Deadline Extensions
During the COVID National Emergency
For Employees and Dependents on Group Insurance

Due to the disruption caused by the current national emergency, Hometown Health is offering extensions to the following deadlines described in your plan document for small and large groups:

  • HIPAA 30-day and 60-day Special Enrollment Periods for Qualifying Life Events;
  • 60-day COBRA Election Period;
  • 45-day and 30-day COBRA Premium Payment Periods;
  • COBRA Qualifying Event Notice Period;
  • Deadline to File a Benefit Claim;
  • Deadline to File an Appeal;
  • Deadline to File a Request for an External Review;
  • Timeframe Which Claimants May File Information to Perfect a Request for External Review;

These deadlines are extended by disregarding the period from March 1, 2020 through sixty (60) days after the announced end of the COVID-19 National Emergency (“Outbreak Period”).  If no end to the COVID-19 National Emergency is announced, the Outbreak Period ends no later than February 28, 2021.


New Option for Employers
Hometown Health Offers COVID-19 Continuation Coverage
For Employees with Reduced Hours and Layoffs

In response to the many temporary business closures throughout northern Nevada as a result of COVID-19, Hometown Health has determined that employees and their dependents who are already enrolled in Hometown Health group coverage and who are laid off or whose hours are reduced below minimum thresholds to be considered a benefits eligible employee, may continue to be covered under the employer’s Hometown Health group policy. To continue coverage:

  • The reduction in hours or layoff must have occurred on or after March 1, 2020.
  • The employee and any dependents seeking continued coverage must have been covered by the employer’s Hometown Health group policy on the day prior to the reduction in hours or layoff.
  • The employer must offer such coverage to all employees (or former employees) in a similar situation.
  • The employer must continue to pay premiums to Hometown Health for the laid off or reduced hour employees. Hometown Health will not be responsible for collecting any employee contributions assessed by the employer. Standard premium payment policies apply.

This coverage will continue as long as the employer continues to pay premiums for individuals covered under this COVID-19 continuation coverage, but will expire no later than September 30, 2020, unless otherwise extended by Hometown Health.

The above COVID-19 continuation policy does not alter or eliminate COBRA benefits. An individual who is COBRA eligible may begin COBRA coverage under the provisions in the applicable EOC at the termination of the COVID-19 continuation coverage.

This COVID-19 continuation coverage is available at the discretion of the employer. Your human resources department will notify you if you are eligible for this benefit.

Hometown Health Signature HMO
PCP Referrals not Required During COVID-19 Emergency

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 state of emergency, members of the Hometown Health Signature HMO plan will not be required to get referrals from Primary Care Providers to receive specialty care. This COVID-19 policy is effective April 1, 2020 and will expire no later than September 30, 2020, unless otherwise extended by Hometown Health.

The above temporary COVID-19 no-referral policy does not change the requirement to obtain prior authorization from Hometown Health for services as listed in the plan document for any Hometown Health product. Services related to COVID-19 never require prior authorization for any Hometown Health product.


Hometown Health Offers Three Month Extension
For Small Employers and BANN MEWA Groups

We understand the challenges many small business owners are facing with the disruption brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. To support and assist business owners during this time, Hometown Health is allowing small businesses with renewal dates of May 1 through September 1 to extend their current plans and rates by three months. This option is available for our clients that are on standard Small Group plans as well as BANN members (not available for BBB and Chamber AHP members).

Hometown Health will extend current contracts set to renew between May 1 and September 1 by three months so that small employers can focus on the things that are important to their businesses, like their employees and their customers. To take advantage of this opportunity, small employers must fill out and return the Hometown Health COVID-19 Contract Extension Election Form by the 5th of the month prior to the renewal date, or the next business day, if the 5th falls on a weekend. Employers who elect to extend their contracts will maintain their current plans and premiums until their new renewal date. Open enrollment will be aligned with the employer’s new renewal date.

Hometown Health stands with our employer groups clients and we want to assist wherever possible. If you have any questions regarding these contract extensions please contact your account specialist.