SLPC 30019 3/20 (exp 3/22)
We’re here to help.
Our people are here for you. Our business continuity efforts have long been in place for moments like this. And we have operated with an agile work approach for years with robust capabilities for employees to work remotely, allowing us to pivot quickly in this crisis. Nearly all Sun Life U.S. employees are working from home during this pandemic, which helps ensure their well-being while continuing to serve our Clients.
COVID-19 has also raised challenging issues for employers. This resource can help you address these compliance issues with confidence and keep you updated about new leave law and other employment legislation that is being proposed and adopted.
- We’re prepared
- We can keep you informed
- You can work with us anytime from anywhere
We have been serving Clients for 155 years, through crises and across continents. Our Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery letter of readiness outlines Sun Life’s established program and practices, which exceed industry standards. It addresses our pandemic planning preparedness and work from home procedures.
Here are some of the actions we have taken to ensure the safety of our employees and Clients, and our commitment to flattening the curve.
- Nearly all employees are working from home
- We’ve moved to a fully virtual business approach with no business travel
- We have added resources to this site to help you reach us easily
Check this resource page often for updates and answers to your questions.
The response to COVID-19 has prompted swift economic and employment legislation.
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, creating new paid leave requirements for employers with less than 500 employees. The law will require these employers to offer up to 10 paid sick days for COVID-19 related issues. Based on their salary, employees will be eligible for up to $511 per day. Employers will be eligible for a payroll tax credit to offset the full cost of providing employees with this paid time.
Additionally, employers with less than 500 employees will also be required to offer 10 weeks of paid leave under the FMLA. Employees will be eligible for up to $200 per day in the event they cannot work (or telework) because their minor child’s school has been closed due to a public health emergency related to COVID-19. Employers will be eligible for a payroll tax credit to offset the full cost of providing the employee with this paid time.
Employers with fewer than 50 employees can apply for an exemption from both of the above requirements.
Employers with less than 500 employees have 15 days from March 18, 2020 to comply with the law’s requirements.
Watch our recorded March 25 webinar to learn more about the employer compliance implications of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and related state leave legislation.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the third major piece of legislation passed to address the COVID-19 outbreak. This legislation, which contains more than $2 trillion of spending, has a number of provisions that will impact individuals and businesses.
Items Impacting Businesses:
Paycheck Protection Program
- Businesses with under 500 employees, and those businesses designated as small business concerns by the Small Business Association, are eligible for loans of up to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll costs
- These loans can be used to pay for items including wages, mortgage interest, utilities and insurance premiums
- Up to 100% of the loan amount can be forgiven based on how the loan is used, how many employees are retained, and what percentage of employees’ wages are paid
- The Treasury Department has indicated that lenders can begin processing loan applications on April 3, 2020.
- The application for the loan can be found here.
Read our Paycheck Protection Program whitepaper
Payroll Tax Deferral
- Businesses can delay submitting the employer's share of Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Tax (Social Security) – which is 6.2% of wages – between March 27, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Half of these payments must be submitted by December 31, 2021 and the remainder by December 31, 2022.
Items Impacting Individuals:
Paycheck Protection Program
- Single tax filers will receive up to $1,200. This amount begins to phase out for those with Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) above $75,000 and will phase out entirely at $99,000
- Married tax filers will receive up to $2,400. This amount begins to phase out for those with AGIs above $150,000 and completely phase out at $198,000M.
- Individuals and married couples are eligible for $500 payments for each qualifying child 16 years or younger. The AGI phase-outs also apply to the qualifying child payments, meaning those over the thresholds above are not eligible for these payments.
Expanded Unemployment Benefits
- Individuals filing for unemployment will be eligible for their states’ unemployment benefits and up to an additional $600 of additional unemployment insurance benefits.
Penalties Waived For Certain Retirement Account Withdrawals
- Individuals in need of funds for certain COVID-19 reasons will be able to withdraw funds from their retirement accounts without paying a 10% early withdrawal penalty (state and federal taxes may still apply).
Here’s a flyer version of these questions.
Addressing your Stop-Loss coverage and claim questions
We are actively monitoring the changing situation related to COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) and would like to share a few updates with you based on questions we have received about your Stop-Loss coverage. Our dedicated team of experts is committed to doing everything that we can to support you. You can count on us to continue to deliver excellent service and be a resource for information during this challenging time.
Your most frequently asked stop-loss questions answered:
- Will costs associated with testing and treatment for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) be covered under my Stop-Loss policy?
- If a Plan is amended to include testing and/or treatment costs associated with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) as preventive or diagnostic with no member cost sharing, will you require the plan amendment be sent to you for approval? Is it possible, based on these changes, you might consider mid-policy year rate adjustments?
- If COVID-19 (Coronavirus) causes your current plan members to no longer meet eligibility requirements for coverage under your plan (for example, as a result of a furlough, reduced hours, or extending coverage through the end of the month for a terminated employee), how will Stop-Loss claims for those members be handled?
Find answers to these stop-loss questions and more in our most recent Q&A on COVID-19.
Our handy flyer summarizes all the ways you can work with Sun Life digitally.
Submit disability claims and check status online
With recent enhancements, it’s now easier for you and your employees to submit disability claims online and to check claims status information. Access Sun Life Connect at www.sunlife.com/account.
Complete STD claims forms electronically
As an alternative to submitting standalone STD claims online, DocuSign provides a guided electronic way to complete and sign required claims forms. Employees and employers can call 800-247-6875 to get started.
Submit Short-term Disability/FMLA Leaves online
With Sun Life Absence Management Services, you and your employees can visit www.sunlife-ams.com to add new leaves, report time, or view leave requests/disability claims. You can also work on behalf of employees, review leave letters sent, and generate reports.
Submit Evidence of Insurability (EOI) online
Both you and your employees can complete and submit EOI applications online. You must be registered on Sun Life Connect for at least 24 hours before employees can use this online service. Visit www.sunlfe.com/account to get started.
Getting your Stop-Loss claim reimbursements faster!
We want to make sure that you get your claim reimbursements as quickly as possible. Our claims team is prepared to process reimbursements as usual with no anticipated changes to our standard turnaround time. Check out the below resources to ensure you get your stop-loss claims reimbursed as fast as possible:
- Enroll in our Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) program to get reimbursements delivered directly to your bank account.
- Sign up for ASO Accelerated Reimbursement or Advanced funding to expedite your reimbursements.
For more information, reach out to your Sun Life Stop-Loss Sales Specialist with any questions. We are here to help you.
Pay your bills online
We can quickly switch you to electronic bills. Please call Client Services at 800-247-6875, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also make payments online by visiting www.sunlife.com/account. You can choose one-time payments or recurring auto payments. If it’s your first time paying your bill online, you’ll first need to set up a payment profile.
Here are videos to walk you through the steps of paying a bill online:
Bring your benefits enrollment experience online
At Sun Life we have the solutions you need to bring your benefits enrollment experience online and provide added support virtually.
If you have an upcoming, in-person meeting or event, we are ready to continue serving you and collaborating with you virtually. Here are just a few of the options to assist our Clients in communicating benefits to their employees. Speak with your Sun Life representative to learn more. We also invite you to learn about:
- Maxwell Health our robust, easy-to-use digital benefits education and administration technology platform that allows you to easily manage enrollment and streamline your administrative task
Complete implementation forms electronically
If you are currently going through implementation, DocuSign will save you time. Our new tool provides a guided electronic form experience, allowing a more effective way to complete and sign required forms. See this video to learn more.
Our Client Services Support team is working from home and operating fully, so you will not experience any disruption to service. Don’t hesitate to call us at 800-247-6875, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, or reach out to your Client Relationship Executive.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
This is a trying time for everyone. You and your employees might need help.
- Current Clients of Sun Life EAP by Design can sign into their ComPsych GuidanceResources website, www.guidanceresources.com.
- If you do not have an EAP program, you can find useful information in ComPsych’s COVID-19 digital toolkit and you can find useful information at www.guidanceresources.com/crisis.
We’re all in this together. Please tell us how we can help you.
This content is not to be considered legal advice. We recommend Clients speak with legal counsel specializing in labor and employment law to ensure your organization meets requirements.
Group insurance policies are underwritten by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, MA) in all states, except New York. In New York group insurance policies are issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, MI). Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations.
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