Emergency notice: We're ready to assist Clients who have been affected by the recent weather and fire events. Read the notice
We understand the COVID-19 crisis creates new and continued challenges for you and your employees. We are committed to providing you with the support you need as it relates to your benefits plan and employees. Please call us to discuss your specific circumstances.
Please read our Q&A below. We’ve also outlined a number of ways you can work with us digitally to ease the administrative burden.
Our Client Services Support team is 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. E.T., or reach out to your Client Relationship Executive.
You may want to print and share this flyer version of these top questions.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) creates a temporary subsidy for certain individuals with federal COBRA. The subsidy is also available for individuals who are not eligible for federal COBRA but are eligible for state continuation coverage that is comparable to federal COBRA. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below reflect the COBRA and state continuation coverage subsidy requirements. The answers may change if federal agencies issue further guidelines. These FAQs provide information only. You should seek your own legal and tax advice.
We recognize the importance in this time of uncertainty that Sun Life be the kind of partner that you have come to trust for communication, information, and compassionate, professional claims handling. To that end, Sun Life’s Disability Claims Department has taken several proactive steps to help ensure the appropriate handling of COVID-19 claims. In evaluating disability claims, we are taking a forward-facing approach to gathering all the necessary information important in the claims process. This may include contacting the member’s physician(s) directly to gathering information which is critical to making a disability decision. We will always ensure clear lines of communication to address any questions that members or employers may have.
We have provided specialized COVID-19 training to our Short-Term Disability Case Managers. Additionally, we have created a small team consisting of our top technical experts to review any related claims, help to answer questions and ensure benefit decisions are made timely. Our Short-Term Disability team works closely with Sun Life’s Medical Director as well as trained clinicians to deliver the highest quality of service and claim handling.
We have also developed claim guidelines to assist in addressing the COVID-19 virus disability claim evaluation process:
If a plan member has tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot perform the duties of their job, we will consider the member Totally Disabled for at least 14 days from when the member was first unable to perform his or her duties. Benefits will start after the member meets the applicable elimination period. Benefits may be offset by other sources of income. If the employee remains disabled after that time, we will work them to obtain required medical documentation.
Plan members and plan sponsors still need to complete a Short-Term Disability claim statement as part of the application process. This allows us to validate important information such as health status, last day worked, salary information, and also confirm coverage.
Our Claims and Medical Teams will assist in gathering the information needed. We realize that, given current conditions, employers and healthcare providers are operating and communicating in non-traditional ways.
If a plan member has a flu-like illness but has not been tested or does not have a positive test result for COVID-19:
We will not pay Short-Term Disability benefits to a plan member who does not have a positive COVID-19 test, is not ill, and otherwise does not meet the applicable policy’s definition of disability. This applies whether they self-isolate:
For clarity, if plan members do not have signs of an illness, or have not tested positive for COVID-19 but are placed under quarantine by a doctor or public health official, they will not be eligible for Short-Term Disability benefits.
Employees may qualify for other benefits including, but not limited to, unemployment compensation, and other federal, state, or local statutory benefits or other absence-related benefits.
Please note that the information above is intended to be a summary, and all claims decisions are subject to the terms of your group’s specific insurance policy.
Sun Life wishes that all of its valued Clients stay safe and healthy and offers the following website with recommendations by the CDC.
We’ve made our portability notice to employees easier: you can copy and paste this content into an email, add the requested information, and send to all impacted employees at once. (The word document may appear in the bottom left of your screen.) You may also want to share this flyer with employees to remind them why keeping their benefits is important. Employees can call Sun Life to talk about their options.
Many Sun Life Clients have our EAP through ComPsych and have access to a broad range of resources and services. Because of the special circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Sun Life and ComPsych are offering support resources to clients who have not purchased EAP benefits – at no extra charge.
The following clarifications and changes apply to medical underwriting for Group Life, Disability and Critical Illness plans as appropriate.
Our handy flyer summarizes all the ways you can work with Sun Life digitally.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.sunlfe.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:
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 underwritten 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. Sun Life reserves the right to discontinue any service that is not insurance at any time. All products, brands, and names are the property of their respective owners.
SLPC 30745 03/21 (exp. 03/23)