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During times of stress, whether from natural disasters or other unknown circumstances, we want to help. Below you'll find information on how we can provide assistance. 

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

American Fidelity understands the coronavirus is impacting the daily lives of our customers and is causing possible disruptions to the employers we serve.

We are prepared to handle circumstances related to the coronavirus through our business continuity protocols. Ensuring continuous service for our customers is our top priority. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated as of 04/07/2020 

General FAQs

Is American Fidelity equipped to service their customers if their operation is forced to close?

American Fidelity provides all colleagues with the technology and equipment to work remotely and securely, if necessary. We are confident that we could maintain our business and claims paying abilities in the event of limited or no access to our facilities.

Out of an abundance of caution and to support a healthy community, all offices are not currently accepting walk-in customers.

Although mail service delays are not something that can be controlled, American Fidelity strives to ensure our service levels remain the same throughout all circumstances. We encourage you to submit claims through your online account and sign up for direct deposit to avoid mail delays.

In an effort to adhere to social distancing mandates and help minimize the spread of COVID-19, American Fidelity can provide employers with the support and resources they need to navigate enrollments virtually. Virtual benefits enrollments allow employees to meet face-to-face by video conference with their account manager. Employees will be able to walk through their enrollment, ask questions, download brochures, and sign required forms.

For group products such as disability, hospital indemnity, group critical illness insurance: You must be employed to meet the eligibility requirements. However, some group policies offer a conversion or continuation provision which may allow you to keep your benefits. Contact Policy Continuation at 800-943-2231 to discuss.  

For individual products such as accident, cancer, and life insurance: You may keep these benefits by setting up automatic bank draft. Learn more at americanfidelity.com/keep-my-coverage or call Policy Continuation at 800-943-2231 to initiate the process.  

Also, keep in mind that we’re following direction from each state on specific policy guidance.

Yes, if you are unable to engage in the normal duties of your job. You would be subject to verification by your healthcare provider(s) and employer. You would also be subject to your plan elimination period and all other policy provisions.

If it is not possible to have an authorized employer representative complete the Employers Report of Claim due to a COVID-19 closure, submit the completed Statement of Insured and the completed Attending Physician Statement, together, along with a note indicating you were unable to obtain a completed Employer Report of Claim due to the closure.

For school employees, your administration office may remain open during the school closure and you should consult the administration office to complete the Employers Report of Claim. Although we cannot guarantee payment, every effort will be made to make a claim determination without this form if an authorized employer representative is not available to complete the form.

We recognize customers may have difficulty obtaining forms from their physicians during this time. We want to be as flexible as possible. Because each situation is different, we recommend calling our customer service team at 800-662-1113 to discuss how this may affect your specific claim.

No, an employer closure would not have an effect on an active disability claim.

Most of our contracts are based on calendar day elimination (waiting) periods, so they are not impacted. Some of our plans that are only available in California are based on working day contracts. So, if a person is scheduled to work on a particular day but the business is closed due to COVID-19, this will still count as a working day. Please see your policy for details on your specific plan.

No. Time off work for quarantine (with no COVID-19 diagnosis) or precautionary measures by physician to limit exposure due to an underlying medical condition (if the underlying medical condition itself is not disabling), would not be covered by disability insurance.

Returning to work, either remote or at your regular location, could have an impact on your disability claim. You should notify our benefits team at 800-662-1113 if you return to work in any capacity, or to discuss questions regarding the impact of work and your disability claim.

Unemployment benefits are listed as an offset in many of our disability insurance policies. If your specific policy has “unemployment” listed as an alternative source of income, your disability payment will be impacted. Log in to your account to download your policy document.

Claim eligibility is determined by your physician claim statement and your time off of work (regardless if you are working at home or at your worksite). If you were to return to work full time and are receiving pay prior to your physician recommended duration, you may not be eligible for benefits on the date you began working again.

American Fidelity disability policies require the insured to be unable to work due to illness or injury. A quarantine for precautionary measures only, where no disabling illness exists, would not be covered. If a quarantine were accompanied by a diagnosis of coronavirus, benefits may be payable, subject to the terms of the policy.

No. The stimulus check is not considered salary and wage continuation and thus not an offset. Your disability benefits will not be affected by the stimulus check. 

If there is a gap in the coverage, new pre-existing condition limitations will apply. To help prevent a gap in coverage, contact Policy Continuation at 800-943-2231 to discuss conversion or portability options. This will help ensure your coverage is maintained (if the policy terms allow it) during the period you are not working for your employer.

Due to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 125 regulations, pre-tax benefits cannot be changed outside of a qualifying life event. At this time, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has not published any guidance indicating exceptions to the rules due to COVID-19. We are actively monitoring any changes to the regulations or published guidance and will post them on this page if updates are provided.

Group products such as disability, critical illness, hospital indemnity, and gap insurance require employee to be actively working for coverage to begin and remain in effect.

If a place of business is closed, employees will be considered actively at work if:

  • Not disabled on the insurance effective date, and/or
  • Not absent from scheduled work day due to sickness

The transmission of a communicable virus does not meet the definition of accident under any of our policy definitions. It may be covered as a sickness under a disability policy, subject to the terms of the policy.

Benefits may be payable for hospital admission, hospital confinement, ICU, rehabilitation, and outpatient riders, as a result of COVID-19. COVID-19 is not covered by the health screening benefit since it is not listed as an accepted test.

COVID-19 benefits are paid the same as any other illness. Gap insurance is designed to help pay the deductible, co-insurance, or other out-of-pocket expenses related to inpatient confinement or treatment.

There are no benefits payable on the base cancer insurance plan. However, if you have purchased an ICU rider and you are admitted to ICU as a result of contracting COVID-19, you may potentially be eligible for a benefit.

No. Critical illness insurance provides a benefit to the Insured only when he or she suffers from the following health conditions:

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Permanent damage due to a stroke
  • Permanent paralysis resulting from a covered accident
  • Major organ failure
  • End stage renal failure

Our accident policies do not require in-person visits for evaluation and treatment of accidental bodily injuries. Telemedicine visits are acceptable when medically appropriate.

If there is a gap in the coverage, new pre-existing condition limitations will apply. To help prevent a gap in coverage, contact Policy Continuation at 800-943-2231 to discuss conversion or portability options. This will help ensure your coverage is maintained (if the policy terms allow it) during the period you are not working for your employer.

If a vaccine were developed for COVID-19 it would be covered under the AF™ Limited Benefit Accident Only Insurance wellness benefit, just like flu shots are covered under the immunization benefit.

Due to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 125 regulations, pre-tax benefits cannot be changed outside of a qualifying life event. At this time, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has not published any guidance indicating exceptions to the rules due to COVID-19. We are actively monitoring any changes to the regulations or published guidance and will post them on this page if updates are provided.

Log in to your online account to access your policy documents to view specific coverage and benefits. 

Group products such as disability, critical illness, hospital indemnity, and gap insurance require employee to be actively working for coverage to begin and remain in effect.

If a place of business is closed, employees will be considered actively at work if:

  • Not disabled on the insurance effective date, and/or
  • Not absent from scheduled work day due to sickness

No. Unless you have an allowable change, there is no effect on your HCFSA due to COVID-19. We are actively monitoring any changes to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) regulations or published guidance and will post them on this page if updates are provided.

We understand that many people are trying to limit their exposure by practicing social distancing, which may prevent them from being able to conveniently shop for medical supplies.

Our partner, Health E-Commerce, offers exclusive coupons for American Fidelity customers on their online stores. Use the code AF5OFF for $5.00 off your purchase:

Contact your employer to learn about your current plan's grace period, carryover, or runoff dates.

Yes, if your daycare or employer closes or reduces hours, you can make a mid-year election change to your DCA. You can reduce your election amount to $0, or change to a lower annual election that covers your adjusted cost of care.

To stop or change your DCA contributions, you and your employer need to complete and submit a mid-year change form to AF-Flex-Elections@americanfidelity.com.

IMPORTANT: Your employer must sign this form for it to be processed. If you are unable to get a wet signature, you can still submit your completed form. However, the changes will not be processed until we receive approval from your employer. Your employer must also make changes on your deductions through payroll in order for your change to be fully processed. 

We are working hard to accommodate the large volume of change forms we have received. If no employer approval or signature was provided on the form, please anticipate a delay in turnaround time.

You will be able to make a change to your DCA once daycare services and employment resumes. This would require another change form to be submitted at that time.

Yes. With recent legislation, account-based plans, including Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, and Health Reimbursement Arrangements, may reimburse individuals for the purchase of over-the-counter drugs and medicines without a prescription from a physician. This reverses a restriction imposed by the Affordable Care Act. This rule also includes reimbursement for menstrual products. View Eligible Expenses 

This change can take effect upon amending the employer’s plan document. The change can be applied to amounts paid or incurred starting January 1, 2020, where permitted by the employer’s plan. At this time, there is no end date for the new legislation. American Fidelity will begin implementing changes on April 15, 2020 for executed amended plan documents.

Yes. The CARES Act allows qualified high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) with a health savings account (HSA) to cover telehealth services before the individual reaches their deductible, regardless of whether the telehealth services relate to COVID-19. This rule is effective now and lasts through plan years beginning in 2021.

Hardship withdrawals must fall under one of the “Safe Harbor” provisions that make the withdrawal permissible. Currently, those do not include a specific safe harbor for COVID-19, but they do include medical expenses that exceed 7 1/2% of an individual’s adjusted gross income, and to prevent eviction. 

In the recently passed and signed Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, there is a provision to establish a withdrawal for individuals or their spouses or dependents diagnosed with the virus, or if the individual suffered adverse financial effects due to the virus up to $100,000 dollars, IF allowed by the employer’s 403(b) or 457(b) plan. These withdrawals will not be subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty, income tax on the withdrawal may be paid over three years, and the withdrawal may be repaid to the plan over a three-year period from the day of the distribution.

The legislation does not address non-qualified annuities, so normal rules apply for plain non-403(b) and 457(b) annuities. 

Currently, ceasing payments on a 403(b) or 457(b) loan for more than 60 days requires the loan to be reported as a distribution to the Internal Revenue Service. The CARES Act temporarily increases the available loan limits to the lesser of $100,000 or 100% of the participant’s vested account balance. This new limit only applies if the participants, their spouses or dependents are diagnosed with the virus, or if the participant suffered adverse financial effects due to the virus. These new loan limits must be allowed by the employer’s 403(b) or 457(b) plan and applies only to loans made on or before 9/23/2020.

Lastly, if the employer’s 403(b) or 457(b) plan permits, the CARES Act includes a provision to allow existing scheduled loan repayments due between 3/27/2020 through 12/31/2020 to be delayed for up to one year for qualifying employees. Interest will still accrue, and loan terms may be extended for up to three years.

We will be waiving the notary requirement for all annuity distributions, which includes transfers-out, loans, death claims, systematic withdrawals, annuity payout elections as well as transfers-in through May 31, 2020.

In place of the notary requirement we request the following:

  • Scan/copy of current and valid driver’s license or valid state or federally issued photo ID
  • In community property states, a scan or copy of the spouses current and valid driver’s license or valid state or federally issued photo ID will be required
  • The photo ID provided must be a legible image of current and valid government issued photo ID for the signatory party
    • Name mismatches must be supported by a scan of marriage license or divorce decree to support and provide evidence as to the identification of that individual

Yes, the March 31 deadline has been extended until June 30, 2020. Read the full update from the Internal Revenue Service here: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/deadlines-extended-for-403b-plans-and-pre-approved-defined-benefit-plans

First, you and the DCA participant should sign the mid-year change form. If you or your employees are unable to fulfill the requirements of including a wet signature during this time, please email the form to AF-Flex-Elections@americanfidelity.com and provide a statement within the email approving American Fidelity to process the form without signature(s).

If you have reduced hours or closed completely, select Change in Employment Status and in the written explanation state there is a change in the need for daycare services due to the change in employment.

If the daycare provider has changed hours or closed completely, select Significant Cost Increase or Decrease located under Other Qualifying Events and in the written explanation state there is a change in daycare provider or cost of care.

Once complete, you can submit the form to AF-Flex-Elections@americanfidelity.com. You should keep a copy of the form on file for payroll deductions.

IMPORTANT: After the form is submitted, you will also need to make the necessary change on your payroll deduction. If we continue to receive the deduction amount for the participant, we will refund this money to the employer to tax and distribute to employees.

  • For Healthcare FSAs and Limited Purpose FSAs, the full annual election amount will continue to be available from the start of the plan year. Benefits Debit Cards may still be used for eligible medical expenses. Documentation to verify expenses will be required. Learn More about Benefits Debit Cards 
  • For Dependent Care Accounts, according to legal requirements and your Section 125 Plan, we cannot make funds available to participants until funds are received and posted. We are working with employers and monitoring changes in governmental guidance due to the present circumstances for flexibility or relief on this subject.
  • For Health Savings Accounts, if payroll deduction is not available, participants can still contribute to their accounts online or by check. Learn More About HSA Contributions 

Yes. If you need your bill earlier than your regularly scheduled date, please contact your billing representative.

To notify us of an employee who is laid off, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your online account
  2. Select the Group Admin tab. Then, select Review or Terminate Employee
  3. Type in the participant's last name and click search, then click their name
  4. Select Terminate Employee
  5. Type in:
    1. Effective Date of Termination
    2. Last Month of Premium
    3. Reason for Termination ‘Terminated’
    4. If Other - type in “Temporarily Laid Off”
  6. Select the Terminate Employee button to finalize

If you have a large number of employees who have been laid off, you can email a list to the billing colleague/team who handles your bill.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many state Departments of Insurance have implemented temporary rules to help provide flexibility and financial relief to policyholders residing in their states.

American Fidelity is following direction from each state regarding grace periods and continuation of coverage. 

It is important to notify us of temporarily laid off or furloughed employees. To notify us, follow these steps:

1. Log in to your online account.
2. Select the Group Admin tab. Then, select Review or Terminate Employee.
3. Type in the participant's last name and click search, then click their name.
4. Select Terminate Employee.
5. Type in:

  • Effective Date of Termination
  • Last Month of Premium
  • “Terminated” as Reason for Termination. Or, if Other, type “Temporarily Laid Off”.

6. Select the Terminate Employee button.

If you have a large number of employees who have been laid off, you can email a list to the dedicated billing representative.

For Group Disability Income Insurance, Group Critical Illness Insurance, and Group Hospital Indemnity Insurance Policies

Employees must be employed to meet the eligibility requirements on group policies. However, some group policies offer a conversion or continuation provision. Your employees may contact our policy continuation team at 800-943-2231 to discuss their situation.

Below are specifics related to group insurance policy coverage: 

If your employee(s) return back to work within 30 days

  • Unpaid policies may be reinstated.
  • Missed premiums need to be paid.
  • The policy will remain in effect as if your employees were never "off work," which provides for consistent coverage and pre-existing condition credit.

If your employee(s) return back to work after 30 days but before 90 days

  • Unpaid policies may be reinstated.
  • The policy will retain the original effective date which provides for pre-existing condition credit.
  • Claims cannot be paid during this furlough time period.
  • No back premiums will be collected.
If your employee(s) return back to work after 90 days
  • Unpaid policies may not be reinstated.
  • New application is required for coverage.
  • New effective date and new pre-existing conditions will apply.

Note on disability insurance coverage:

If employees are terminated, they are not eligible for disability insurance coverage as they are no longer active employees. This means premium will not be collected. Disabilities which begin after termination are not covered.

For Accident Insurance, Cancer Insurance, and Life Insurance Policies

American Fidelity has extended the grace period for individual insurance policies to 120 days.

Below are specifics related to individual insurance policy coverage: 

If your employee(s) have been temporarily laid off they are able to pay their premiums directly to American Fidelity

  • After two months of unpaid premium, the policy will go into a grace period. Your employees will receive a notice that premium is due.
  • Employees have an extended grace period to continue their coverage by contacting our policy continuation team at 800-943-2231.
  • Employees can continue coverage by paying their premiums through bank draft, credit card payment, or check.
  • Past-due premium can be paid without penalties or fees.

Continuing Our High Level of Service 

To continue providing a high level of service, we have nearly all our colleagues working securely in remote locations and practicing social distancing in order to:
  • Process Claims
  • Process Bills
  • Answer Calls & Emails
Alternative Enrollments: In the event your upcoming benefits enrollment is disrupted, we are committed to provide alternatives. Contact your account manager to learn more.

What can employers do to help?

In preparation for the unexpected, such as delays in mail service, we recommend the following:

  • Securely submit your American Fidelity bills along with matching payment through your online account.
  • If you are unable to submit your bill electronically, ensure you use the correct P.O. Box address for your specific bill. Please find our mailing addresses here. 
  • Encourage your employees to submit claims through the fastest option with their online account and sign up for direct deposit to avoid mail delays.

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Summary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

The CARES act is designed to help stabilize fragile industries and to provide tax credits and loans to businesses to help them retain their workforce.

Compliance Updates

Over-the-Counter Items & Menstrual Products Now Eligible for Reimbursement

The CARES Act allows over-the-counter drugs and medicines to be reimbursed by FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs without a prescription, as well menstrual products.

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COVID-19 Paid Leave: What Employers Need to Know

The Department of Labor has released initial guidance for employers covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Online access is more important than ever.

In preparation for the unexpected, such as delays in mail service, it's important to utilize online tools available.

Register for an Account

Filing online is convenient, secure, and provides faster claim processing than filing by paper. From your laptop or desktop, log in to file a claim and upload documentation.

Register

Download AFmobile®

 Our mobile app is the easiest way to submit your claims and documentation. Upload documentation directly from your device’s picture gallery.

Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play

Sign Up for Direct Deposit

With direct deposit, claim payments and reimbursements can be deposited directly to your bank account.

Learn More

Shop for Medical Supplies Online

We understand that many people are trying to limit their exposure by practicing social distancing, which may prevent them from being able to conveniently shop for medical supplies.

Our partner, Health E-Commerce, offers exclusive coupons for American Fidelity customers on their online stores. Use the code AF5OFF for $5.00 off your purchase:

Even if you don’t have an FSA or HSA, you can still shop for health products at these stores.

We will continue to closely monitor this situation and be prepared to take any actions necessary to assist our customers. If there are any questions regarding coverage of our products or services, please contact us at (800) 662-1113.

American Fidelity Assurance Company
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