Content

Coronavirus

COVID-19: The New Coronavirus

During these difficult times, while many things feel uncertain, we want to provide reassurance that Nippon Life Benefits continues to stand behind its members and partners by continuing to operate and provide access to important benefits and assistance in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nippon Life Benefits is well prepared for the challenges brought on by the pandemic. In an effort to protect our staff and best serve our customers, we have implemented processes and procedures that include remote work capabilities. These changes will ensure our clients and insureds continue to receive an uninterrupted and high level of service to which they are accustomed. Below you will find a link to a service letter from our CEO with information on steps Nippon Life Benefits is taking to be able assist during the pandemic, along with an Employer FAQ.

Service Letter

Employer FAQs

English      Spanish      Japanese     Korean

Please continue to check this page frequently. We will keep you informed of additional steps we take to protect our customers and employees.

Informational Flyer

To view and download more information on the Coronavirus and how claims will be handled, choose one of the following language versions below:

English      Spanish      Japanese      Korean

Updated October 23rd, 2020

Fraud Prevention

Member health, safety, and security are of the highest priority at Nippon Life Benefits. Recently, there has been an increase in fraudulent activity targeting member’s personal information. For tips on protecting your information, visit our Fraud Prevention page at https://www.nipponlifebenefits.com/member-service/fraud-prevention.

COVID-19 Screening Tool

Use the screening tool to better understand your level of risk, how to recognize symptoms, and what you can do to slow the spread.

Screening Tool

The above link is to a Website which includes content provided by third parties, including materials provided by other users and third-party licensors, syndicators aggregators, and or reporting services. Nippon Life Insurance Company of America (Nippon Life Benefits) has had no role in the creation, development or publication of the content. All statements and/or opinions expressed in these materials, and all articles and responses to questions and other content are solely the responsibility of the person or entity providing those materials. Accordingly, we assume no liability for any action or inaction regarding transmissions, communications, or content provided by any third party. We are not responsible, or liable to you or any third party, for the content or the accuracy of the information provided.

What is covered under my health plan?

Testing:

Nippon Life Benefits will waive in-network and out-of-network cost-sharing (including, but not limited to, co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance) for screening and testing for COVID-19, including the antibody test. This waiver of cost-sharing also applies to in-network and out-of-network hospital, emergency department, urgent care and provider office visits where the purpose of the visit is to be screened and/or tested for COVID-19.

Treatment:

For covered persons who require a hospital stay related to COVID-19, Nippon Life Benefits will waive in-network cost sharing, through 12/31/2020. For the treatment of those insureds that may not need a hospital stay, we will also cover the treatment of COVID-19 in accordance with and governed by the insured person’s Nippon Life Benefit’s booklet-certificate and applicable law - notably, if we do not have a health care provider in an insured person’s network with the appropriate training and experience to meet the particular health care needs of the insured, an insured may visit an out-of-network provider at the in-network cost-sharing level, in accordance with the insured person’s booklet-certificate.

NY Residents will be provided in-network outpatient mental health services with no cost share from 5/2/20 through 11/27/20 as per Amendment 60 to 11 NYCRR 52. NY residents with HDHP plans should contact the customer service number on their ID card to discuss how this regulation impacts their plan.

Medication Access through CVS Health

 As of March, 9th, 2020, all Nippon Life Benefits members will have access to a 90-day supply of maintenance medication prescriptions, and early refill limits will be waived on 30-day prescriptions at all in network pharmacies until June 15th (unless state mandate dictates otherwise). In addition, CVS Pharmacies will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications to help patients avoid visiting their local CVS Pharmacy. Members can contact CVS/Caremark for more information.

https://cvshealth.com/newsroom/press-releases/cvs-health-response-coronavirus-outbreak

Teladoc®

Given that COVID-19 is a communicable disease, in an effort to limit group interaction, we encourage the use of Teladoc® in place of in-person office visits when possible.

Teladoc® doctors can answer questions about the virus, evaluate your risk, and provide support by a phone or video call if you develop symptoms or have concerns. Doctors are available 24/7 by phone or video to support and advise you.

Nippon Life Benefits values member health above all. Therefore, effective March 1st, 2020 through December 31st, 2020, if a member has a plan that includes a fee for Teladoc®, Nippon Life Benefits will be waiving said associated fees regardless of diagnosis. If a charge has been paid, the member will be automatically reimbursed. No action is required from the member to receive the reimbursement.

Simplify Your Teladoc® Visit

Due to an increase in demand at both in-person health care sites and at Teladoc, members may experience higher-than-normal wait times. Teladoc has provided some tips to help you prepare and simplify your visit.

  • Start by visiting the Teladoc website for information and frequently asked questions at https://www.teladoc.com/
  • Download the Teladoc mobile app on the App Store or Google Play for the fastest service
  • Teladoc requires users to share medical history before the first virtual visit. Complete this step in advance and get access to care sooner
  • Utilize the Call-Back feature that enables you to hold your place in line and receive a call back from a representative to help register, request a visit, or get support
  • After a visit request is initiated, you are encouraged to be available and ready to promptly answer our callbacks, as requests will be considered cancelled after two unanswered callback attempts by a doctor. In unique circumstances where a doctor is unable to connect with you after at least one callback attempt during a 10-hour period, we will cancel the visit request and communicate that change to you by email.
  • On the web and app, users can visit the wait time estimator to determine an expected time for callback from a doctor

 

Telemedicine

Nippon Life Benefits encourages members to explore remote healthcare options, including Telemedicine visits in addition to our Teladoc® vendor supported benefits. In-network telemedicine visits between 4/1/20 and 12/31/20, regardless of reason for visit or diagnosis, will be covered with no cost share. Please be reminded that all COVID-19 testing related visits are covered with no member cost share. Additional state specific telehealth mandates may apply. For specific details regarding telemedicine and how it relates to your specific plan coverage, including out of network coverage, please contact the Customer Service number on your ID card for additional information.

Looking for support in dealing with stress or concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic?

An Employee Assistance Program* is available for all Nippon Life Benefits members at no charge. The service is designed to provide confidential and personalized assistance and aid in providing overall well-being for those facing stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Help is readily available by calling the employee assistance number: 1-833-327-2386. When prompted, please select option 2 to receive emotional support.

Additionally, Nippon Life Benefits has teamed up with ActiveHealth® to bring additional information and provide support during this difficult time.
Choose a link below to learn more about managing health and wellness.
Managing Stress and Anxiety
Eating Healthy at Home
Coping with Quarantine
Being Active at Home
*Brought to our members through our partnership with Aetna Signature Administrators®, Resources For Living®.

Network Provider Considerations

We are working closely with all our provider network partners to monitor the impact to their participating providers that are rapidly adapting to emerging federal, state and local mandates. We fully expect that we will continue to see some provider offices closing temporarily or limiting office services or hours. Because of the continuous volume of changes, the Provider Locator tools of our provider network partners may not reflect the current status of each provider office. As a result, we strongly encourage you to contact the provider directly prior to any appointments to verify office hours and appointment status.

Vision Benefits through EyeMed®

Members with vision insurance through Nippon Life Benefits will still have access to those benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. As some provider offices may be closed, it is recommended that members contact their local provider to ensure their hours haven’t changed. To reduce contact, we encourage members to utilize online benefits. Please note that online sites will require a valid prescription (within the last 24 months for eyewear and within the last 12 months for contact lenses). Online, in-network options include Glasses.com, ContactsDirect, Ray-Ban.com, LensCrafters.com, and TargetOptical.com

If a member has an eyewear emergency but is unable to visit a provider, they are encouraged to visit the EyeMed Customer Care Center to discuss benefit options. For customers who are unable to leave their home, are having difficulty locating an open provider, and do not have a valid prescription, they may be eligible to receive an emergency pair of replacement temporary emergency Adlens Adjustable Glasses at no cost (subject to availability). Likewise, if an emergency pair is needed, please visit the Customer Care Center on the member portal.

Short Term Disability Eligibility

COVID-19 related illnesses are handled the same as any other illness and will be considered according to the applicable plan provisions.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Nippon Life Benefits’ short term disability benefits will be coordinated accordingly, as long as the employee meets the disability requirements as designated by their plan coverage.

In order to prevent delays in claims processing, Nippon Life Benefits asks for a completed Disability Claim form which can be found at https://www.nipponlifebenefits.com/member-service/

Changes to FSA/HSA Eligible Expenses

The CARES act includes a permanent change that allows for purchase of over-the-counter medications and feminine hygiene products using your flexible spending account (FSA), health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), or health savings account (HSA). A prescription is no longer needed for reimbursement. This change is effective for expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020. Please allow time for these changes to be reflected at local retailers. If you have difficulties at time of purchase, you can manually submit your claim(s) for reimbursement by using the www.nipponlifebenefits.com link, or mail to:

FSA/HRA claims,
Nippon Life Benefits
P.O. Box 2968
Clinton, IA 52733

Phone: 1-800-374-1835
Fax: 1-866-514-8287
Email: fsa-hra@nipponlifebenefits.com

As state and local governments are beginning to ease the stay-at-home and business closures that were implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, many employers look to start reintegrating employees back into the workplace. In an effort to safely and effectively do so, employers should follow implement a return-to-work plan prevent and reduce transmission amongst employees.

What Steps Should Employers Take?

  • Encourage employees who aren’t feeling well to head home and stay there until the criteria for discontinuation of home isolation are met
  • Consider conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks including temperature and screening questionnaires.
  • Clean and disinfect work spaces, equipment, and high-traffic areas regularly.
  • Provide hand sanitizer and educate employees on its effectiveness
  • Encourage the use of clothe face coverings
  • See the OSHA COVID-19external icon webpage for more information on how to protect workers from potential COVID-19 exposures and guidance for employers, including steps to take for jobs according to exposure risk.
  • Review Human Resource Policies to ensure your policies and practices are consistent with public health recommendations and existing state and federal workplace laws
  • Connect Employees to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to help manage stress and anxiety due to COVID-19.

 

What Steps Should Employees Take?

  • Stay home if they are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Inform their supervisor if they have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 and to learn what to do if someone in their home is sick.
  • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of their elbow. Throw used tissues into no-touch trash cans and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2external icon, the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
  • Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. Clean and disinfect them before and after use.
  • Practice social distancing by avoiding large gatherings and maintaining distance (at least 6 feet) from others when possible.

While these precautions are designed to reduce the spread of the virus, it is important to note that none are totally effective. Employers and employees alike should follow guidelines put forward by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Labor.

For more in-depth mitigation steps, we encourage members and employers to review the CDC’s guide for business response as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s published guidelines on workplace preparation.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

Additional Resources from the CDC:
CDC COVID-19 Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Business and Workplaces Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html
General Business FAQ: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/general-business-faq.html#Reducing-the-Spread-of-COVID-19-in-Workplaces

What is COVID-19: The New Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a virus that has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness originating in Wuhan, China1 with cases identified in Southeast Asia, Europe, Canada, Australia, and the United States.2

Is there a treatment for the coronavirus?

To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.

In the event an immunization becomes available for COVID-19 and is recommended for children through the attainment of 19 years-of-age, we will cover the immunization at no cost-sharing for insured children through the attainment of 19 years-of-age. In the event an immunization is recommended for COVID-19 for adults who are 19 years-of-age and older, we will cover the immunization immediately for these insured persons at no cost-sharing.

How does it spread?

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact with an infected individual3

 

What are the symptoms?

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell


When to Seek Attention
If you have any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Reducing Your Risk

  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends avoiding travel to areas declared as high risk.
  • Practice social distancing by limiting non-necessary contact with others to minimize exposure. The federally recommended social distancing guidelines have been recommended through April 30, 2020. However, as these guidelines may vary by state and/or city, it is recommended to also refer to and comply with your state and local guidelines and directives.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with others who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

 

Travel Restrictions

Based on the growing number of identified cases of the virus, the list of areas of risk continues to change. It is our recommendation that to find the most up to date areas, go to the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html). Please continue to check the website for the most accurate travel advisories.

Treatment Information for Other Coronaviruses

There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms:

  • Take pain and fever medications (Caution: do not give Aspirin to children)
  • Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough


If you are mildly sick, you should:

  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Stay home and rest


If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider.


Please note that the information provided does not replace counsel from a physician. If you are experiencing symptoms, please see an in-network doctor. More information can be found at the links below:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/about/index.html
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019


1https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
2https://edition.cnn.com/asia/live-news/coronavirus-outbreak-01-30-20-intl-hnk/index.html
3https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html
4https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html
5https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

Disclaimer

Nippon Life Insurance Company of America is continuously monitoring, and implementing policy and procedures to comply with, applicable federal and state law and directives related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This information is subject to change, at any time and without notice, by Nippon Life Insurance Company of America. Further, the policies and procedures summarized herein may vary based upon your policy situs state and/or state of residence. Please contact Customer Service for additional details.

This material and information is intended for informational purposes only – the material and information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or medical advice.

Our website uses anonymized Google analytics. The only personal information we collect from this tool is the general location from where you access our website. To find out more about Google anonymization please click here. For more information on our data collection tools, processes and procedures refer to our privacy statement which can be found here. Accept