Health & Retirement Benefit Updates

April 17, 2020

Because your safety and well-being are our Company’s top priority, we have made some updates to our healthcare benefits to help you and your family, should you need medical care during this time. These updates apply to benefits provided through Republic’s UnitedHealthcare plans.

  • Republic has waived all copayments, coinsurance and deductibles for the following services:
    • Inpatient and outpatient medical expenses for covered services, in and out of network, when associated with a COVID-19 diagnosis through May 31, 2020
    • ALL virtual visits until June 18, 2020 (does not have to be COVID-19 related)
    • In-network telehealth visits for all medical and physical, speech and occupation therapies until June 18, 2020
    • In-network virtual visits and telehealth outpatient behavioral health visits, including ABA services
  • Early prescription refills may be available for UnitedHealthcare members. Call the customer care number located on the back of your medical ID card for assistance or work with your pharmacist to obtain refills.

Additionally, the federal government recently signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law that, among other things, makes changes to some employee benefits, including health insurance coverage and retirement plans. Some of these changes that may help you during this time are explained below.

Employer Group Health Plans

Whether you have health insurance through Republic’s UnitedHealthcare plans or another provider, the CARES Act makes some changes to employer-provided group healthcare plans:

  • Expands coverage for COVID-19 testing, at no cost to you.
  • Allows use of health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts and health reimbursement arrangements to purchase over-the-counter medical products like medications and masks. These changes apply to amounts paid or expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020.
  • Temporarily allows High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) to cover telehealth services like virtual doctor visits without having to meet your deducible.
  • Anticipates that when a vaccine is available for COVID-19, the full cost will be covered.

To better understand UnitedHealthcare’s coverage of COVID-19, visit their website. If you have health insurance through another insurance carrier, consider calling the number on the back of your insurance card or visiting their website for more information

Retirement Plans

Some of the rules around retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, have also changed as a result of the CARES Act. If you are enrolled in a 401(k) through Republic’s provider, Vanguard, we have adopted the following changes:

  • Allows affected individuals* to take a coronavirus-related distribution of up to $100,000 from their 401(k) or IRA during the 2020 calendar year without the 10% early distribution penalty.
  • Doubles the current retirement plan loan limits for affected individuals* to the lesser of $100,000 or 100% of their vested account balance for loans taken from March 27, 2020 to September 23, 2020.
  • Allows affected individuals* to delay retirement plan loan repayments otherwise due for the rest of 2020 by one year and re-amortize payments.
  • Suspends the required minimum distributions that participants must take from tax-deferred 401(k) plans and IRAs starting at either age 70½ or 72 for the rest of 2020.

These options can be requested immediately through our 401(k) provider, Vanguard. For more information or to get started, read this update from Vanguard. If you’re enrolled in a union 401(k) plan, please contact your plan administrator to find out which changes may apply to your plan.

*Affected Individual is defined as a participant: (1) who is diagnosed with COVID-19; (2) whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19; or (3) who as a result of the virus, experiences adverse financial consequences from being quarantined, furloughed, or laid-off; having reduced work hours; being unable to work due to lack of childcare; having to close or reduce hours of a business owned or operated by the individual, or “other factors” to be determined by the Secretary of Treasury.