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Covid-19 Consumer Alert
Information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly. Information below may be updated frequently.
As Michigan residents and businesses implement measures aimed at mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus, questions may arise as to how insurance and financial services may be impacted. The information below will aid consumers and industry professionals in addressing these concerns.
Consumer Health Insurance and Assistance
If you've recently lost your employer group health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period. For additional information, visit Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance or call 877-999-6442.
If you need help with purchasing health insurance, a federally-trained assister can provide free enrollment assistance for Health Insurance Marketplace plans. To find assistance in your area, visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.
Consumers enrolled in a fully-insured health plan may be eligible for expanded COVID-19 coverage such as:
- No cost for medically necessary diagnostic testing or treatment of COVID-19
- Increased access to prescriptions
- Prior authorization waivers
- Expanded access to telehealth services
For more information on the benefits offered under your health plan, contact your insurer directly.
COBRA Premium Assistance
The American Rescue Plan provides COBRA premium assistance from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, to people who are eligible for COBRA. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor website, contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration, or call 866-444-3272.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
FEMA has recently implemented its COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program will help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate. For more information on how to apply for assistance, please visit the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance webpage or call 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585, Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
Patient's Right to Independent Review Act (PRIRA)
DIFS processes requests for external review of adverse determinations made by health insurance companies. Consumers may file a request for external review under PRIRA or may file this form with the department. DIFS is continuing to process these requests as usual during the COVID-19 emergency. Consumers with an urgent request may be eligible for an expedited review of their request.
Most health insurance policies regulated under Michigan law are required to cover health services provided by telemedicine, including services provided by interactive audio or video, including by telephone.
Coverage for telehealth benefits have been expanded for Medicare and Medicaid recipients.
Consumer Financial Information
- Resources for Payday Lending (Rev. 8/2021)
- Information for Michigan business owners about COVID-19 and its impact on business operations (rev. 8/2021)
- Information on the MiMortgage Relief Partnership
- CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance: What You Need to Know
- FAQs for Consumer Finance Customers and Borrowers (rev. 8/2021)
- COVID-19 Consumer Resources from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS)
- COVID-19 Relief Options from the U.S. Small Business Administration
- Frequently Asked Questions for Credit Union Members (3/27/20)
- SBA and Treasury Release Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application (rev. 5/15/20)
Identifying and Avoiding COVID-19 Scams
During this time of social distancing, people spend more time on their phones and computers for home, work, shopping and entertainment. Cyber criminals take advantage of widespread fear, panic and worry. They may use your extra screen time and time at home as an opportunity. Protect yourself by being aware of different types of scams.
Information for the Insurance and Financial Services Industry
COVID-19 Workplace Safety Guidance
Safe Start Advisory Working Group Memo - Insurance (rev. 10/28/2020)
Safe Start Advisory Working Group Memo - Insurance Agencies (rev. 10/28/2020)
Safe Start Advisory Working Group Memo - Financial Institutions (rev. 10/28/2020)
Temporary Guidance for Insurance Company Financial Statement Filings and Examinations (rev. 9/2021)
Frequently Asked Questions for Credit Unions (rev. 8/2021)
Frequently Asked Questions for Mortgage Loan Originator Licensees (rev. 12/3/2020)
DIFS Consumer Services
DIFS is working hard to make sure that staff is available to answer questions and respond to complaints in a timely manner. As always, if you have questions or disputes you cannot resolve directly with your financial institution, DIFS is here to help. Contact DIFS at: 877-999-6442, DIFScomplaints@michigan.gov, or file a complaint.