Your Guide to Navigating COVID-19

The global conversation around COVID-19 has escalated rapidly. Use these resources to stay safe and informed.

Trusted Updates

CDC Guidance
Coronavirus Disease
WHO Guidance
Coronavirus Outbreak

Getting Medical Care

Find information on resources and services available to benefits-eligible members, and details on COVID-19 testing and treatment.
Justworks can support your team. Make sure your benefits-eligible employees know that they can leverage their Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Health Advocate, or primary care provider for trusted, reliable information about COVID-19.
Per official guidance, people should also utilize telemedicine whenever possible. As a Justworks member, benefits-eligible employees can access One Medical’s virtual care. All employees enrolled in Aetna can also utilize Teladoc for their COVID-19 related concerns.
For employee questions on how specific medical plans cover COVID-19 testing and treatment, or additional questions involving their personal health information (PHI), they should connect with Health Advocate at 866-799-2728.
In recent weeks, major insurance carriers have also begun issuing guidance on new COVID-19 resources for their enrolled members. Justworks has communicated this guidance to your team members directly, according to their specific insurance provider. As we receive new guidance from insurance providers, we will continue to ensure your people have the information they need to feel safe and secure.
We have aggregated the Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, and UnitedHealthcare resources that are available to benefits-eligible team members below.

Utilize One Medical’s virtual care for your COVID-19 related concerns.

Download
As an Aetna member, people have access to the following services:
  • Aetna will waive co-pays for all physician-ordered diagnostic testing related to COVID-19.
  • CVS Health, the parent company of Aetna, announced on March 25 that it is also waiving cost-sharing and co-pays for inpatient hospital admissions related to COVID-19 for Aetna’s commercially insured members, part of several additional steps to help members access the care that they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Through June 4, 2020, Aetna will offer zero dollar co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason.
  • Through existing care management programs, Aetna will proactively reach out to members most at-risk for COVID-19.
  • CVS Pharmacy, part of CVS Health, the parent company of Aetna, will also waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications, offer 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions for insured members, and Aetna will waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications for all members with pharmacy benefits administered through CVS Caremark.
Additionally, cost-sharing is waived for all video visits through the CVS MinuteClinic app, Aetna-covered Teladoc offerings, and in-network providers delivering synchronous virtual care (live video-conferencing). As a Justworks member, you can also utilize One Medical’s virtual care with no co-pay, for your COVID-19 related concerns.

Utilize One Medical’s virtual care for your COVID-19 related concerns.

Download
As a Kaiser Permanente member, people have access to the following services:
  • Cost-sharing (deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) will be reduced to zero dollars ($0.00) for medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19 including the visit, associated lab testing, and radiology services in a plan hospital, emergency or urgent care setting, or medical office. This cost sharing reduction will apply to all Kaiser Permanente and other plan (participating) providers.
  • You can also speak to an advice nurse 24/7 at Kaiser Permanente. Call the advice number on your Kaiser Permanente membership card to speak with an advice nurse or to schedule a telephone or video appointment with your doctor. You can also email your doctor for non-urgent concerns. If you can’t find your card, visit kp.org/getcare and click on 24/7 advice.
Per official guidance, we recommend that you use telemedicine, or Kaiser Permanente’s 24/7 advice nurse, as your first line of defense in order to limit potential exposure in physician offices.

Get 24/7 advice through your Kaiser Permanente membership.

Download
As a UnitedHealthcare member, people have access to the following services:
  • Cost-sharing, including copays, coinsurance, and deductibles will be waived for COVID-19 diagnostic testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines for all commercial insured, Medicaid and Medicare members.
  • Optum’s Emotional-Support Help Line is available to anyone who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19. The free service can be reached 24/7 at (866) 342-6892 and is open to all.
  • Eligible UnitedHealthcare and OptumRx members needing help obtaining an early prescription refill can call the customer care number located on the back of their medical ID card for assistance.
Per official guidance, we recommend that you use telemedicine, or UnitedHealthcare’s 24/7 Virtual Visit capability (available through the UnitedHealthcare app), as your first line of defense in order to limit potential exposure in physician offices. As a Justworks member, you can also utilize One Medical’s virtual care with no co-pay, for your COVID-19 related concerns.

Access UHC's 24/7 Virtual Visit capability via the UHC app.

Download
The cost of COVID-19 testing will be covered in full by private insurance, regardless of your carrier, as mandated by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and require treatment, any associated healthcare services would be covered to the same extent as they are currently provided for in your insurance plan.
Employees seeking guidance on how their specific medical plan covers COVID-19 testing and/or possible treatment, or other matters involving their personal health information, should connect with Health Advocate at 866-799-2728.
When it comes to the fine print on testing and treatment, here’s what we know:
Federal Response (as of March 18, 2020):
  • President Trump signed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This new law requires private health plans to provide coverage for FDA-approved COVID-19 diagnostic testing, as well as the items and services furnished during a provider visit (office, telehealth, urgent care and emergency room) insofar as these are necessary to get tested. This coverage must be provided at no cost to the consumer.
  • The requirement to cover COVID-19 testing costs starts from the date of enactment, March 18, 2020, until the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) determines that the public health emergency has expired.
Private Insurer Response:
  • Aetna: Waiving co-pays for all physician-ordered diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. CVS Health, the parent company of Aetna, announced on March 25 that it is also waiving cost-sharing and co-pays for inpatient hospital admissions related to COVID-19 for Aetna’s commercially insured members, part of several additional steps to help members access the care that they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Kaiser Permanente: Cost-sharing (deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) will be reduced to zero dollars ($0.00) for medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19 including the visit, associated lab testing, and radiology services in a plan hospital, emergency or urgent care setting, or medical office. This cost sharing reduction will apply to all Kaiser Permanente and other plan (participating) providers.
  • UnitedHealthcare: Cost-sharing, including copays, coinsurance, and deductibles will be waived for COVID-19 diagnostic testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines for all commercial insured, Medicaid and Medicare members.
  • For high-deductible plans with a Health Savings Account (HSA), insurers are covering the COVID-19 test at no cost share prior to the member meeting their deductible. This should not impact HSA eligibility.
  • As the government and insurance carriers issue new guidance, we will update this page.

Help your team stay informed about COVID-19 with trusted updates from Health Advocate.

Download
Call your doctor. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, such as a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Your doctor will be able to recommend a course of action that is right for your specific risk-factor circumstances. Testing is not currently recommended in all cases.
Per official guidance, we recommend that you use telemedicine to contact your doctor in order to limit potential exposure in physician offices.
Telemedicine resources for Justworks members:
  • For Aetna members, cost-sharing is now waived for all video visits through the CVS MinuteClinic app, Aetna-covered Teladoc offerings, and in-network providers delivering synchronous virtual care (live video-conferencing).
  • As an Aetna or UnitedHealthcare member, people can also utilize One Medical’s virtual care with no co-pay, for your COVID-19 related concerns.
  • Kaiser Permanente members should call the advice number on your Kaiser Permanente membership card to speak with an advice nurse or to schedule a telephone or video appointment with their doctor. They can also email their doctor for non-urgent concerns. If someone can’t find their KP membership card, visit kp.org/getcare and click on “24/7 advice.”
For more information, we recommend reading the following posts from our friends at One Medical:
I Tested Positive For COVID-19. Now What?
Your Guide To Self-Isolation And Quarantine

Follow this guide if you tested positive for COVID-19.

Download

Staying Healthy

Learn how to protect yourself and others from getting sick, as well as tips to manage anxiety and stress during the outbreak.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the coronavirus.
That’s why government officials are recommending that everyone practice social distancing measures at this time. The White House & CDC have issued official guidelines.
Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are still at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that we all do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus:
  • Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts—use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
  • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
  • Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • Practice good hygiene by washing your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
  • Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
Per CDC guidance, older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. They should consult with their health care provider about additional steps they may be able to take to protect themselves.
For more information on what you and your team can do to stay healthy, we recommend the following resources from our friends at One Medical:

Review the official guidelines issued by the White House & CDC.

Download
People can—and often do—experience strong feelings of anxiety when it comes to developing health crises, especially when our normal routines have been upended as a result.
In the workplace, leading and creating a sense of physical and intellectual safety starts with making sure your team knows where to go to get trustworthy, up-to-date, and accurate information. Maintaining it requires that you also listen to people’s individual concerns and respond in kind.
Our friends at Shine have also collected some great resources to help you and your team navigate stress and anxiety from the coronavirus outbreak. Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety.
Below are some other resources the Justworks team has benefitted from over the past week. We hope that you, or someone you care about, will find comfort in them too.
We will update this list. Do you have suggestions?

Our customer Shine has created a great resource for managing anxiety and stress related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Download

Remote Work Tips

Find helpful Work From Home resources from Justworks, ideas on how to support your team, and remote productivity tips.
We’re glad you asked! We’ve created a public, collaborative list of helpful links for anyone working (and living) from home and looking for great ideas and accessible resources for staying happy, healthy, and safe during this crazy time. Whether you’re home alone, working alongside a roommate, a spouse, or your kids — we’ve got something for you.
All new ideas are welcome, so please consider suggesting new resources or sections in the comments. Feel free to share this wide and far. We’re all in this together!

Stay happy, healthy, and safe with the Justworks guide to remote life resources.

Download
Today’s near-necessity to work from home has pushed remote operations into the spotlight. Even without that push, the rise of remote work and the trend of in-house and remote teams for many companies have led to employers finding new ways to manage and support remote employees.
Consider a few of these tactics when leading your remote team.

Shifting to remote work? Get practical tips for workers and employers.

Download
Establish consistency. Consider setting and socializing a cadence for when your team can expect updates from you. Follow through even if it’s just for a quick check-in. This can help to reduce the noise and create a degree of certainty around which business operations can continue more normally. As new information about COVID-19 becomes available, check trusted sources before acting on it.
Level set that the situation is fluid and will be for some time. You are likely making many decisions daily. One way you can help alleviate some of the associated stress is to make sure you communicate any changes in policy or planning and inform people about the reasoning behind these changes too. As a rule of thumb, providing context for your decisions is especially important in times like these—and enhanced by the inability to interact face-to-face. Context helps to align your team and will enable people to respond more effectively to new and unexpected developments on their own down the line. (They will happen.)
Not working from home yet? As of March 16, 2020, the White House’s official guidance is for all people to work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible. If you haven’t done so already, you should assess or reassess which roles absolutely require the employee’s physical presence in order to perform the essential job functions of that role.

Help your team stay informed about COVID-19 with trusted updates from Health Advocate.

Download
Many teams are making the move to remote work in the midst of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. If your team has recently made the switch to working from home (or is thinking about it in the near-term), check out these tips and best practices to help your team stay productive, maintain trust, and keep the lines of communication open as your business shifts toward remote operations. Check out our post on How to Work From Home: Tips to Increase Productivity Outside the Office.
Bonus: Many of us now find ourselves working at home alongside a partner or loved one, who is also working from home, for the first time. Try these tips for working from home with your partner.

Make the most of your time with these WFH productivity tips.

Download

Employer Requirements

Find answers to important questions about running your business, how to address COVID-19, and navigate other business considerations. We're here to help, 24/7.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, you have an obligation as an employer to provide a safe workplace, free from known hazards.
In order to provide such a workplace, employers can take a page from the official OSHA recommendations. Precautions include promoting a healthy and sanitized workplace, educating employees on protective behaviors, like cough and sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene, and minimizing or eliminating in-person interaction between employees and/or with customers.
Employers should follow guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to understand if additional workplace disclosures or protections apply.
Beyond any requirements, it’s a best practice to keep your employees updated. As we published on our blog last month, one of the most important things you can do is to communicate openly with your team about what’s happening.
Here are some other tips on how to keep your team safe and informed.
  • Provide Trusted Resources: Given the outbreak’s international nature, we suggest sharing both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) resources as trusted references. In addition to providing your employees with resources, be human. Let people know that you’re up-to-speed and monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely.
  • Establish Consistency: Consider setting and socializing a cadence for when your team can expect updates from you. Follow through even if it’s just for a quick check-in. This can help to reduce the noise and create a degree of certainty around which business operations can continue more normally. As new information about COVID-19 becomes available, check trusted sources before acting on it.
  • Talk About Hygiene and Plan for Continuity: We also suggest that you review the CDC’s interim guidance for employers. It details proactive steps you can take now, especially regarding sick employees, as well as how you can tailor your approach as the situation unfolds. The CDC guidance for employers also provides business continuity planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks.
  • Explain Your Actions: Make sure you communicate any changes in policy or planning and inform people about the reasoning behind these changes too. As a rule of thumb, providing context for your decisions is especially important in times like these. It helps to align your team and will enable people to respond more effectively to new and unexpected developments on their own down the line.

Get more tips on how to communicate about the COVID-19 pandemic to your employees.

Download
As of March 16, 2020, the White House’s official guidance is for all people to work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible. If you haven’t done so already, you should assess or reassess which roles absolutely require the employee’s physical presence in order to perform the essential job functions of that role.
Some states have issued even stricter guidance and mandates in some cases. In New York, for example, beginning Sunday, March 22 at 8PM, Governor Cuomo will mandate that 100% of the workforce must stay home, excluding essential services like Medical facilities, Pharmacies, Grocery & liquor stores, and Restaurants (take-out and delivery only).
The requirements impacting your office will continue to shift daily. As such, we recommend that you check your state’s website regularly for the most up to date guidance.
Per OSHA’s Hazard Recognition page, employers that remain open are required to assess the hazards to which their workers may be exposed; evaluate the risk of exposure; and select, implement, and ensure workers use controls to prevent exposure. Control measures may include a combination of engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment.
  • If you choose to close your office, you should communicate to your employees as far in advance as possible.
  • Even if you see remote work as a last resort for your business, start requiring that your employees bring all necessary equipment home with them each night. The situation could evolve rapidly and new mandates, like a “shelter in place” order, could come into effect after business hours. Make sure your people are ready to go remote.
  • You should clearly outline whether “closing the office” means employees should cease working, or if it means they should begin working remotely.

Visit OSHA’s Hazard Recognition page to understand if special considerations apply to your business.

Download
If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
If your office is still open, separate the sick employee. The CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately.
Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify you or their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

Review the CDC's guidance on how to conduct a risk assessment.

Download
We suggest that you review the CDC’s interim guidance for employers. It details proactive steps you can take now, especially regarding sick employees, as well as how you can tailor your approach as the situation unfolds.
OSHA’s existing guidance on continuity planning for a pandemic is also relevant to COVID-19.

Get OSHA's resource on continuity planning for a pandemic.

Download
To ensure people’s safety, and based on the CDC’s guidance for travelers, we strongly suggest that you take steps to cancel or postpone all nonessential employee travel and promote alternatives like video meetings.

Review and follow CDC's guidance on travel.

Download

Business Loans & Relief

Get support and resources to tackle tough financial challenges, retaining employees, and navigate deferred taxes.
Being in a situation where you can’t pay your employees is extremely stressful. Our team is here to support you and your people in this difficult time. Please don't hesitate to reach out.
We’ve collected the latest information on several new government relief programs that can help you pay your people and help your business weather the storm.
Note: This information is changing rapidly. We will update this page as we learn more.
Key Federal Support:
  • On March 12, 2020, the Small Business Association (SBA) announced that it would implement new COVID-19 disaster relief lending.
  • SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster's impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower's ability to repay.
  • To access these emergency loans, you should contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center directly. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
State and Municipal Support:
States and cities are rapidly deploying resources and programs to assist businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Given the rapidly shifting guidance, we recommend that you check local sources for the latest in your state.
In New York City, for example, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on March 8 that the City will provide relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. You can get the latest details about these programs and apply here.
  • NYC Small Business Continuity Fund. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. Complete the interest form here.
  • NYC Employee Retention Grant Program. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. Learn more and apply.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson on March 19 proposed a $12 billion relief plan to help New York City businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The multi-pronged proposal includes a temporary universal basic income for all New Yorkers, temporarily deferring fees and refunding business taxes, and up to $250,000 to cover fixed costs for impacted businesses. It also includes unemployment protections for those who have had their hours cut, gig economy and freelance workers. It has not been voted on yet.

Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can access up to $2 million in assistance via the SBA.

Download
On March 17, 2020, the Treasury Secretary announced that businesses can defer up to $10 million of payments owed to the IRS, interest-free, for 90 days. You can find more details here.
States have also announced similar considerations on taxes owed. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is tracking state changes on its website.
This information is changing rapidly. We recommend that you check local sources for the most current information and consult your tax professional.

Businesses can defer up to $10 million in taxes owed to the IRS.

Download
Tough times call for creative solutions. When your business is caught in a difficult staffing situation, what are your options? If you need guidance, reach out to your account manager and schedule time with one of our HR experts. On our blog, we’ve also explored different considerations employers should take into account.
For workers facing layoffs, furlough, or reduced hours as a result of COVID-19, the New York Times has assembled a hub of resources here.

COVID-19 has caused many business owners to face difficult decisions when it comes to staffing. In this post, we hope to help you understand some of your options.

Download

Paid & Unpaid Leave

Get the latest information COVID-19 paid and unpaid leave requirements, including H.R. 6201.
Each situation is unique and you should ultimately consult legal counsel. Here are several factors to keep in mind:
  • Employers should allow employees to utilize sick leave, per their company policy and applicable federal, state, or local law.
  • Where employees do not qualify to use sick leave, employers may want to consider, where feasible, providing employees with more flexibility in using their own judgement to work from home.
  • Employees may be entitled to take time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or other similar state/local laws to attend to for a) their own serious health condition or b) a family member’s serious health condition. (Note: Simply contracting the virus may not necessarily be a serious health condition.)
  • Employees with pre-existing health conditions that put them at heightened risk for contracting COVID-19 may need to be provided with accommodations (like time off, or remote work arrangements) if and when the disease poses a high risk of transmission in your area.
  • Employees may not be required to be paid if taking a leave of absence, and you should refer to your internal policies and legal counsel on how you should approach this.
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Among other provisions, it contains several paid leave provisions related to the coronavirus pandemic that employers should be aware of. These provisions will go into effect on April 1, 2020.
  • It requires employers with fewer than 500 employees provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, ten weeks of which would be paid, to employees who are unable to work or telework due to their child’s school or daycare closing.
  • It requires employers to provide full-time employees with 80 hours of certain emergency paid “sick” leave related to the coronavirus (with special rules for part-time employees).
  • It provides tax credits for required paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave and certain health plan expenses. The law also permits the Department of Labor to exempt small businesses with 50 or fewer employees if providing paid leave would put them out of business.
  • Our team has broken down H.R. 6201 and its implications in more detail here.
  • The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. You should review the DOL's official guidance here.
States and cities are rapidly deploying resources and programs to assist businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Given the rapidly shifting guidance, we recommend that you check local sources for the latest in your state.
In New York, for example, the state has enacted new protections, effective immediately, for workers who have been quarantined as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, including job protection, paid and unpaid leave, and extensions of the state’s disability insurance and paid family leave programs.
Other states and cities are focusing their efforts in a similar manner and are looking to adjust existing laws or pass new ones, while some jurisdictions have already done so. San Francisco, for example, has, among other changes, extended their paid sick leave ordinance regulations to include additional covered reasons during this time.

Learn about H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and its implications.

Download

Note: This information is changing rapidly. We will update this page as we learn more.