Posted on April 15, 2020 by admin
Friends and Neighbors,
Governor Lamont this evening announced Executive Order 7AA.
This Order makes adjustments to certain statutes and regulations regarding long-term care facilities included previously in Executive Order 7Y, and permits the Department of Social Services to temporarily waive the statutory moratorium on new beds at certain nursing homes to accommodate COVID-19-related needs.
To watch the full video of the governor’s afternoon press conference, please click here:
The governor’s full press release can be read here: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/04-2020/Governor-Lamont-Coronavirus-Update-April-15
The Executive Order can be found here: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Executive-Orders/Lamont-Executive-Orders/Executive-Order-No-7AA.pdf
Executive Order 7AA
Governor Lamont signs executive order waiving the moratorium on Medicaid beds at certain long-term care facilities
Governor Lamont today signed an executive order making further adjustments to certain statutes and regulations regarding long-term care facilities as part of the administration’s ongoing plan to keep protect and support the vulnerable population of residents who live in nursing homes during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Last weekend, Governor Lamont signed Executive Order No. 7Y, which implemented the state’s nursing home surge plan and includes the designation of certain long-term care facilities as COVID-19 recovery centers that will focus on supporting people discharged from hospitals.
To accommodate this emergency need, Governor Lamont today signed Executive Order No. 7AA, which permits the Department of Social Services to temporarily waive the statutory moratorium on new beds at certain nursing homes to accommodate COVID-19-related needs.
For more information related to the plan for long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, read the list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
This is the 28th executive order Governor Lamont has signed since enacting the emergency declarations last month.
Connecticut Insurance commissioner approves no-cost life insurance coverage for front-line health care workers
Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais today announced that front-line health care workers in Connecticut and Massachusetts may soon be eligible to receive up to $25,000 of life insurance at no cost. The Connecticut Insurance Department has expedited approval of HealthBridge, a new Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) life insurance product that offers no-cost, guaranteed issue policies to front-line health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new HealthBridge coverage allows health care and other workers on the front lines of the pandemic to directly enroll for a no-premium payment three-year life insurance policy with a $25,000 death benefit for issue ages 18 to 50. Workers with issue ages 51 to 60 will receive a no-cost $10,000 death benefit.
Eligible individuals must be employed at a licensed hospital, urgent care center, or with an emergency medical services provider in Connecticut or Massachusetts and have exposure to COVID-19 patients. In addition to doctors and nurses, lab technicians, custodial staff, maintenance crews, cafeteria workers, and security personnel will also be considered for coverage. More details and enrollment information is available on MassMutual’s HealthBridge website.
For more information, read the press release issued today by the Connecticut Insurance Department.
Connecticut Insurance Department announces fully-insured health plan members can receive COVID-19 treatment with no out-of-pocket costs
All fully-insured plan health plan members, including those with high-deductible health plans, can now receive COVID-19 testing and treatment with no out-of-pocket costs.
Some employers, especially large ones, sponsor self-funded health plans. Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais urges those employers to waive testing and treatment costs as well.
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, together known as HUSKY Health in Connecticut, are also fully covering COVID-19 testing and treatment without any cost-sharing. Consumers should take note that there are some differences among commercial plans and policyholders should contact their insurer or employer to obtain additional information on important details.
For more information, read the press release issued today by the Connecticut Insurance Department.
Governor Lamont Announces Implementation of System That Will Significantly Speed up Unemployment Claims During COVID-19 Emergency
Additional Weekly $600 Benefit in Federal Stimulus Funds Will Begin April 24; New Benefit Program for Self-Employed Individuals Will Begin by April 30
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that a new software improvement at the Connecticut Department of Labor was launched last night that will significantly increase the speed at which unemployment claim applications can be processed. Paired with the continued manual processing, the originally anticipated six-week wait period will be shortened to one week or less.
Like nearly every state in the country, Connecticut has received an unprecedented amount of unemployment claims as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic:
The department has been operating on a 40-year-old computer system to process the claims, which the Lamont administration had been in the process of upgrading prior to the pandemic.
Anyone who has applied for unemployment benefits is urged to monitor their email for a notification from the Department of Labor directing them to take action on next steps in order to receive their benefits (be sure to check any spam or junk folders as well). To receive the benefits in the fastest way possible, claimants are advised to utilize direct deposit to have their benefits sent directly to a checking or savings account of their choice. In contrast, due to the national pandemic, a shortage of debit cards could cause an additional three-week delay for the vendor to issue the card.
Additional federal stimulus benefits, including $600 in additional weekly payments, will begin April 24
Commissioner Westby today also announced that the processing for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which adds $600 in federal stimulus funds to every weekly state benefit payment, is scheduled to begin April 24. The additional funds will be included in Connecticut benefit payments the following week.
In addition, the Department of Labor expects to begin accepting claim applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – the federal program that provides benefits for self-employed individuals and independent contractors – by April 30.
For more information regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on unemployment benefits in Connecticut, members of the public are urged to read the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) provided by the Connecticut Department of Labor.
NEW SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD FOR UNINSURED ENDS FRIDAY, APRIL 17
Important information about the documents needed to enroll
HARTFORD, Conn. (April 15, 2020)—The Access Health CT (AHCT) New Special Enrollment Period for Connecticut’s uninsured population ends this Friday, April 17, 2020. Uninsured individuals can sign up for health insurance coverage through Access Health CT during this time. The effective date for coverage for enrollments during the New Special Enrollment Period completed after Thursday, April 2 will be May 1, 2020. The only way to sign up for this New Special Enrollment Period is by calling 855-365-2428.
In the last month, 1,920 previously uninsured residents have enrolled in health insurance plans through the New Special Enrollment Period.
Information you need to enroll:
IMPORTANT: Individuals who experience a Qualifying Life Event, e.g. losing coverage due to job change, moving to Connecticut, getting married, having/adopting a child, etc. OR qualify for Medicaid/Children’s Health Program (CHIP), can always enroll online, in-person or over the phone and all help is free. More information here.
Access Health CT encourages everyone to maintain coverage during the public health emergency and beyond. Connecticut residents whose income has been impacted by COVID-19 should adjust their estimated 2020 income here, as they may be eligible for additional financial help to pay for monthly costs.
More information can be found at: https://www.accesshealthct.com/AHCT/LandingPageCTHIX
Judicial Branch Updates
Remote Processing of Certain Civil and Family Matters
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the CT Judicial Branch has concentrated its efforts on mitigating the spread of the virus, focusing our work on handling only those Priority 1 matters that must be addressed. Beginning Monday, April 20 we will expand the scope of our work to include certain matters other than “Priority 1” matters.
Our goal is to incrementally increase the volume of court work that can be handled by Judges and court staff. Key to this initiative is the ability to process, review and/or resolve matters remotely. We will concentrate initially on civil and family cases.
We plan to continue to add to the list of matters that we will process. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Judicial Branch’s website.
Supreme and Appellate Courts to Hear Cases Remotely
In an effort to continue hearing cases amid the pandemic, Connecticut’s Supreme and Appellate courts will hear arguments remotely in April and May, respectively. The case assignments will be available on the Judicial Branch’s website no later than Tuesday, April 21 for the Supreme Court and Tuesday, May 5 for the Appellate Court.
Audio recordings of these oral arguments will be available to the public on the Judicial Branch’s website following the argument.
More information can be found here.
Finally, notwithstanding the fact that our jury system still sends out jury summonses, we would like to reiterate that all jury service is suspended until further notice. If an individual has been summoned for jury duty, please be advised that her or his service has been cancelled and that the individual should not report.
We will continue to keep you updated as to the Judicial Branch’s efforts as this pandemic continues. Stay safe
Track Your Federal Stimulus Check
By now you’ve heard that the Federal government is sending stimulus checks to help offset the loss of income from mandatory business closures and other issues related to the Coronvirus pandemic.
Those checks started going out this week via direct deposit (if applicable) and regular mail.
If you would like to check on the status of your Coronavirus stimulus dollars, the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment will give you information about:
*You may need information from your 2018 or 2019 tax filing.
Please note: the site is experiencing exceptionally high volume and you may be prompted to wait.
As of 4:00 p.m. tonight – Wednesday, April 15th – the state has diagnosed a total of 14755 cases of Coronavirus. Updated virus totals and Town-by-Town statistics can be accessed here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
The total statewide number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is 868.
Latest COVID-19 Testing Data in Connecticut
Updated 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Total patients who tested positive: 14755
Fairfield County: 6480
Hartford County: 2570
Litchfield County: 490
Middlesex County: 379
New Haven County: 3758
New London County: 236
Tolland County: 216
Windham County: 89
Pending address validation: 537