With tens of thousands of Connecticut residents seeking unemployment benefits, there is a growing concern about their insurance coverage and whether they will be covered during this coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Ned Lamont on Tuesday said he is working to make sure they have the coverage he needs and is asking the insurance companies to help.
"I am going to urge, I hope I don't have to order, make sure the health care companies, the health care insurance folks do the same thing," Lamont said. "I am doing everything I can to make sure people have the health care coverage they need and small business can power through what is going to be a tough four to six months."
On Tuesday, the commissioner of the Connecticut Insurance Dept., Andrew Mais, urged insurance companies to extend a 60-day grace period for premium payments during the pandemic.
“The emergency public health measures have contributed to a loss of income for both consumers and businesses,” said Mais. “It is imperative that we all work to maintain the security that insurance provides when consumers need it most.”
The request came in a bulletin from the department that requested all insurance company, including life, health, auto and property insurers, to provide a 60-day grace period with no interest or penalty on consumer premiums.
“A grace period will allow policyholders who may need help due to circumstances beyond their control additional time to pay and avoid a coverage lapse or cancellation,” Mais said.
Lamont said he hopes he does not have to order this of insurers, but did say he is worried about unemployed residents who are not sure if they are covered.
"It's my view that they either are [covered] or are about to be," the governor said. "I'm going to make sure that we have coverage for folks. I'm working with our congressional delegation to see if the federal bill will include them. But whatever they do, I'm going to extend coverage for folks in our state."
The governor said he is especially focused on paid sick leave to make sure that residents who are worried about their paychecks are not coming to work when they are sick.
When asked about following other states' lead when it comes to 60 day grace periods, the governor said "we're going to take a look at that very carefully."