Updated May 4, 2020
In this time of uncertainty, I want you to know we are doing everything we can to help Colorado businesses and their employees navigate these unique conditions.
We know our entire community is feeling unsettled by the impacts this pandemic is having on everyday life. The concept of “business as usual” is almost meaningless at this point.
That’s why I want to assure you our team is working virtually, at full strength, ready to help you through these difficult times. That’s also why we must make every effort to protect the health and safety of our employees and customers and provide the support they need; that is the refrain echoing in every decision we make.
Please read on to learn about several important actions we’re taking regarding coverage, COVID-19 testing, flexible payments and more.
We realize that the public health response to COVID-19 is having an unprecedented effect on Colorado businesses. We know many of you have had to lay off workers and are facing sizable hits to your revenue.
Accordingly, through May 31, Pinnacol will keep policies active and won’t cancel coverage for policyholders unable to make their regularly scheduled payment. Cancellation notices will be withheld during this time to allow agent sand businesses time to work with Pinnacol on flexible payment options. The outstanding amount will be added to your next invoice.
To ensure you are not charged for employees and payroll that aren’t currently active, we encourage you to update your payroll information by contacting your agent or calling our Customer Experience team at 303.361.4000.Updated payroll information ensures your coverage is as accurate as possible each month.
We get that furloughed workers aren’t actually working, so you shouldn’t have to pay workers’ comp on those wages. We also know that many of you will receive federal Paycheck Protection funding to help you keep employees on payroll, and that those employees may not actually be working either.
We’ve added a new class code for workers who aren’t exposed to workplace risk to ensure they aren’t reflected in your premium. Your agent or our customer experience team can provide details.
If you or your employees suspect you or they have been exposed or infected with COVID-19 as a result of a specific workplace exposure, we encourage you to contact the medical provider of your choice as quickly as possible.
Tests for COVID-19 are available only with a doctor’s prescription. (Please note many Pinnacol-designated providers are not equipped to provide testing forCOVID-19, which is why we urge you to contact your regular medical provider.Ask your provider about private lab sites where you can be tested.)
After you consult with your doctor, if they determine that you or your employee needs to be tested for COVID-19, please file a claim. Pinnacol will pay for the COVID-19 testing ordered by your medical provider.Please note that Pinnacol itself is not providing testing.
Colorado’s existing workers’ compensation rules and regulations are not structured to anticipate the complexities of a pandemic of this nature, where first responders and healthcare workers are instructed to quarantine themselves away from work even before a positive test confirms transmission.
First responders and front-line healthcare workers’ occupational environment uniquely necessitates and significantly increases their direct exposure to COVID-19. Accordingly, Pinnacol is instituting an emergency policy to provide wage replacement benefits to first responders and front-line healthcare workers for up to 14 days of quarantine.
The cost of this benefit will not be applied to the premium calculation of our healthcare and first responder policyholders. This is a time-limited benefit, and no benefits will be paid after the quarantine period has ended unless the worker develops COVID-19. In those cases, the existing statute regarding payment of work-related infectious disease will apply.
Bear in mind that, in most cases, exposure to and/or contraction of COVID-19 is not considered a work-related condition. Typically, the contraction of COVID-19 in the workplace is considered incidental or common to all employment. Each claim will be looked at on a case-by-case basis, but it is unlikely most will meet the criteria for exposure in order to be eligible for benefits.
We may revise this policy if circumstances change. In addition, the Division of Workers’ Compensation or the Division of Insurance may develop additional rules in response to the impact this pandemic is having on workers in our state. We will inform you of any changes immediately.
Nearly all of our employees have been working remotely since mid-March. To ensure the safety of our employees and customers, we have closed our front desk and lobby. We will be available by phone and email. Our highest priority continues to be serving our customers.
We are working quickly to get accurate, helpful information to our customers as this COVID-19 response continues to change at a rapid pace. Please access our COVID-19 resources, which are designed to help protect your business and your employees. And of course, please contact Pinnacol’s Customer Experience team at 303.361.4000 with any questions you have about your policy.
From our founding, we were designed to weather challenging financial environments including natural disasters and other unforeseen events. We’ve been serving Colorado for more than 100 years and fully intend to be serving you for more than 100 more.
Working together, I’m confident we’ll get through this.
Philip B. Kalin
President and CEO