Governor’s Office COVID-19 Q & A
June 4, 2020
Q: Will business owners need a permit to host a fitness class at a State Park, which they normally do, or will permits be waived?
A: Activity permits for state parks, fish and wildlife areas, recreational areas and historic sites are required only for events which draw 25 people or more; However, gatherings of more than 10 people are currently prohibited under Phase 3 guidance. Individuals should adhere to current public health directives and social distancing guidelines.
Q: Illinois private event venue owners are starting to get a little frustrated that there is no clear guidance on how/when they can open. Can guidance be given?
A: Under Phase 3, gatherings are limited to groups of 10. In Phase 4, they will be limited to groups of 50. General social events are permitted within those parameters, with social distancing and mask wearing. Please take a look at the retail guidelines for more information https://dceocovid19resources.com/assets/Restore-Illinois/businessguidelines3/retail.pdf. Please continue to check the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) website https://www.dph.illinois.gov/restore to determine which phase your region is in and this web link for newly released guidance https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/pages/restoreILP3.aspx.
Q: Is there any updated information about libraries?
A: Libraries are managed by local units of government. Local units of government determine the timeline and process associated with reopening libraries to the general public. They are required to follow the general parameters associated with public gatherings outlined in the Restore Illinois Plan and guidance from the state. Please continue to check the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) website https://www.dph.illinois.gov/restore to determine which phase your region is in and this web link for newly released guidance https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/pages/restoreILP3.aspx.
Q: Is there up to date guidance for churches to use?
A: Please refer to IDPH’s guidelines for churches http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/places-worship-guidance. This guidance does not obligate or encourage places of worship to resume in-person activity. It is strongly recommended that places of worship continue to facilitate remote services, particularly for those who are vulnerable to COVID-19, including older adults and those with co-morbidities. Please continue to check the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) website https://www.dph.illinois.gov/restore to determine which phase your region is in and this web link for newly released guidance https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/pages/restoreILP3.aspx.
Q: Similar to the refunds auto insurers have been giving, have refunds been addressed for dental premiums? Most plans cover cleanings every six months but since these appointments have been cancelled or postponed, has there been an accommodation from insurance companies?
A: The Department of Insurance (DOI) has seen many dental insurers using varied mechanisms to help consumers mitigate unnecessary costs associated with dental insurance when they were unable to access dental care due to the COVID-19 emergency, including premium rebates, premium credits, premium holidays, rate locks, etc. Since this varies from company to company, DOI recommends individuals reach out to their specific insurer to ask any questions about coverage or to request help if needed.
Additionally, as of May 11th, many oral health providers have resumed provision of routine oral and dental care which allows patients to seek the services they may have put off while dental offices were shut down. If there is a large reduction in expenses, it is also possible that would be reflected in rate decreases or a reduction in premiums for the next plan year. DOI has the ability to review companies for regulatory concerns through market conduct examinations and consumer complaints. Individuals that have an issue with a specific issuer can file a complaint on DOI’s website https://mc.insurance.illinois.gov/messagecenter.nsf..
DOI has received several notifications of insurer’s providing financial relief to members for dental policies (The filings for these companies are available on public SERFF with detailed information):
• Cigna Dental Health of Kentucky, Inc. (group)
• Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (group)
• First Commonwealth Insurance Company (IL) (Individual)
• First Commonwealth Insurance Company (group)
• Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (individual)
• Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (group)
• The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (individual)
• The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (group) (dental and vision)
Q: What is the average waiting timeline between filing an unemployment claim, certifying, and receiving the first payment?
A: The timeframe upon filing a claim and receiving a first payment is about 16-17 days. The process is as follows:
Phase 1: The process begins when a claim is filed, which is the application process undertaken to determine whether a filer qualifies for unemployment benefits.
Phase 2: Next, the filer must certify for the first time within two weeks after filing their claim. Certifying is when the filer proves that they are able and available to work, are actively seeking work, and report any income received. Every two weeks, the filer must certify.
Phase 3: Once certified, it will be determined if the filer is eligible to receive benefits based on the answers provided. If the filer is eligible to receive benefits, generally they will receive a payment within 2 to 3 business days. Payments will be sent to their Key Bank card; or if they set up direct deposit, payments will be deposited into their bank account.
For more information or to file a complaint, visit the IDES web link https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/default.aspx.