In view of concerns about Coronavirus, COVID-19, many of you are wondering what the terms and conditions are for claims related to Coronavirus (Covid-19) under health and protection policies.
We can tell you that our health and protection policies do indeed provide for claims arising out of this illness, in the same way as all other illnesses, including in the event that the risk becomes pandemic.
Exceptional work stoppages, as provided for in French government orders published in recent weeks, can be claimed for under the normal terms and conditions of your protection policy, in particular after application of any waiting period. In other words, if your policy provides for a time franchise (waiting period) before health benefits kick in, then this will apply as usual.
In order to limit the spread of the epidemic, the public authorities have decided to make an exception and assimilate certain situations, such as confinement, eviction or receiving home support, to work stoppages giving entitlement to daily allowances paid by statutory health insurance (Assurance Maladie) from the first day of sick leave. These exceptional measures have taken effect for two months from 1 February.
The latest pronouncements, dated 13 March:
- • extend entitlement to exceptional sick leave to parents with children who are subject to confinement and for whom benefits are now payable for the whole time their place of work is closed (and no longer just 20 days);
- • authorise Assurance Maladie (CPAM) to issue such sick-leave certificates, not doctors from the regional health authorities (ARS) as previously stipulated;
- • give more flexibility in the use of telemedicine.
Given the rapidly changing situation, which can make information immediately obsolete, we would recommend turning to the very detailed and up-to-date announcements made by the health ministry (Ministère des Solidarités et de la Santé – https://solidarites-sante.gouv.fr).
- For your employees in France:
For all questions relating to COVID-19, in the absence of symptoms, the government provides a toll-free number (numéro vert): 0 800 130 000 open 24/7.
If staff have respiratory problems, fever and a cough after returning from a contaminated area or have been in contact with an infected person, they should not go to their doctor or the hospital emergency room, but dial 15 (the emergency call-out number in France).
- For your employees when abroad:
People travelling abroad are invited to register on Ariane to receive alerts and safety instructions while travelling.
They can keep abreast of the situation by consulting the Latest News section (Dernière minute des conseils) of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs website (in English https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/ and other languages). The network of Embassies and Consulates is also available to answer all their questions.
We will keep you informed if government orders alter these rules.