Updated: June 23, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.

While all of us at NYSUT Member Benefits recognize that the COVID-19 situation has disrupted the lives of many NYSUT members, we also understand that life's everyday issues and concerns continue to happen. To that effect, we would like to remind you that NYSUT Member Benefits is committed to helping NYSUT members in making prudent decisions when it comes to your finances and essential needs. We encourage you to read the following updates and helpful information listed on this page.

Please check back to this page on a regular basis for updates.


NATIONAL & STATEWIDE AFFILIATE INFORMATION
AFT NO-COST COVID-19 GRIEF COUNSELING & TRAUMA COVERAGE >>

Our national affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers, is providing no-cost COVID-19 grief counseling to all active & retired AFT members and their eligible immediate family members. The AFT is also providing all active AFT members with up to three months of a trauma counseling benefit at no cost. Click here to learn more.

NEA MEMBER BENEFITS >>
The NEA Complimentary Life Insurance Program builds to a $1,000 benefit based upon years of NEA membership. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NEA Members Insurance Trust has modified the program so that any NEA member who is in the program and whose death occurs between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 will receive the full $1,000 death benefit -- regardless of the number of years that the individual has been an NEA member. For more information, click here or call 800-637-4636.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES >>
Click here to view a Coronavirus Toolkit provided by NYSUT.

Click here to view a COVID-19 resource page provided by NEA Member Benefits.

Click here to view job interruption information provided by AFT Member Benefits.


NEW UPDATE - LEGAL SERVICE PLAN >>
During this unprecedented crisis, the law firm of Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C. -- the provider of our endorsed Legal Service Plan -- would like to offer assistance to NYSUT members for their sacrifices and contributions. If a NYSUT member who is a current participant in the Legal Service Plan passes away due to COVID-19, the law firm is extending a number of services at no cost to the member's family.

Feldman, Kramer & Monaco will provide guidance and assistance regarding the participating NYSUT member's estate (only in the instance of an uncontested estate), including answering questions related to marshaling assets, obtaining a death certificate, locating family members, reviewing beneficiary forms, filing the necessary documentation with the applicable probate court, accessing a safety deposit box, vehicle title issues, and redirecting mail.

In addition, the law firm can offer direction to the deceased NYSUT member's family regarding the next steps to take, such as advising a family member in regards to transferring assets, contacting financial institutions as well as free estate administration (probate) when needed. Most importantly, the law firm will provide a compassionate sounding board for the family.

Feldman, Kramer & Monaco is offering this free legal service as a way to honor its continued relationship with current participants in our endorsed Legal Service Plan. If you have any questions, please contact Christine Cavanagh (Feldman, Kramer and Monaco) at 631-231-1450, ext. 264.

NEW UPDATE - METLIFE EAP NO-COST PLAN FOR NYSUT MEMBERS >>
MetLife (the provider of the NYSUT Member Benefits-endorsed Auto & Home, Life, Disability and Voluntary Dental insurance programs) would like to offer assistance to NYSUT members in dealing with the recent tragic events that happened in Minneapolis, MN and across the country. Click here and here to view helpful information related to coping with traumatic events.

A message from MetLife's EAP partner at LifeWorks: With continuing protests and issues unfolding, MetLife has extended its Crisis Support Line to be available 24/7 for NYSUT members and their families by calling toll-free 877-757-7587. Individuals who call will receive professional emotional support and referrals to community resources.

METLIFE AUTO RELIEF CREDIT >>
We understand that you are likely driving fewer miles during this time, so our MetLife Auto customers will receive a 15% credit on their April 2020 and May 2020 premiums (which will be combined into a single 30% credit for the month of May 2020). New York State policies that are active as of May 31, 2020 will automatically qualify for the MetLife Auto Relief Credit. No customer action is required to receive the credit.

MetLife will automatically apply the credit beginning in June 2020. New York State policyholders will receive the 30% credit based on their May 2020 premiums, which will be applied to the first billing statement provided in June 2020 or thereafter.

There are several factors that may affect when policyholders receive their credit such as which payment plan they are on, their billing cycle or when their policy renewal occurs. However, the credit will be applied to the next billing statement starting in June. If you have any questions, please contact the MetLife Service Center toll-free at 866-NYSUT-22 (697-8822).

Members that have automobile insurance policies through another insurance company affiliated with the MetLife Choice program:

-- Travelers Insurance: Please contact Travelers customer service at 800-842-5075 forany specific credit inquiries and billing-related questions.

-- Safeco Insurance: Please contact Safeco customer service at 800-332-3226 for any specific credit inquiries and billing-related questions.

-- Progressive Insurance: Please contact Progressive customer service at 800-PROGRESSIVE (776-4737) for any specific credit inquiries and billing-related questions.

Information obtained from each partner carrier’s website as of April 2020.


LEGAL & FINANCIAL RESOURCES

LEGAL SERVICE PLAN >>
As a reminder to current participants in our endorsed Legal Service Plan (provided by the Law Firm of Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C.), you have access to a national network of attorneys that deal with personal legal matters. Plan participants are entitled to unlimited toll-free legal advice; a free Legal Security Package that includes a Simple Will, Health Care Proxy, Living Will & Power of Attorney; and two, free, hour-long consultations with a plan attorney. Click here to learn more.

Please Note: Members who participate in our endorsed MetLife Term Life or Level Term Life insurance programs can have important documents such as a Will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy created for them at no cost. Estate Resolution Services are also available to help settle an estate. For more information, please refer to your outline of coverage. Click here for the Term Life outline of coverage. Click here for the Level Term Life outline of coverage.

FINANCIAL COUNSELING PROGRAM >>
Current participants in our endorsed Financial Counseling Program (provided by Stacey Braun Associates, Inc.) have access to a team of Certified Financial Planners and Registered Investment Advisors that can provide you with fee-based financial counseling services. Being fee-based, Stacey Braun Associates receives no commissions from mutual funds, brokerage firms, insurance companies or any other third party. As a result, Stacey Braun's advice is unbiased, objective and customized specifically for you and your financial situation. Click here to learn more.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STIMULUS CHECK >>
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed on March 27, 2020, includes a provision for economic stimulus check up to $1,200 per tax payer. Find out if you are eligible for the stimulus check and how much you may be receiving. Click here to view the Kiplinger's Stimulus Check Calculator.

TAX DEADLINE EXTENSION >>
The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced an extension of the federal income tax filing due date from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments until July 15, 2020 without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. Click here to view the original release from the IRS.

REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTIONS WAIVED >>
(Provided by Kiplinger.com)
The CARES Act waives required minimum distributions from retirement savings accounts for 2020. Click here to learn more.

STUDENT LOAN RELIEF OPTIONS >>
(Provided by Cambridge Credit Counseling)
Cambridge Credit Counseling (the provider of our endorsed student loan and debt counseling program) has created a helpful webinar for NYSUT members and their families about how student loans may be impacted by the CARES Act. Click here to view the webinar.

The U.S. Department of Education set federal student loan interest rates at 0% for 60 days beginning on March 20, 2020. Subsequently, the CARES Act suspended payments for federal student loan holders through September 30, 2020. Notifications will be coming soon, but it would be a good idea to check online accounts in a few weeks to confirm no payment is due. PLUS loans are included in the waiver, but FFEL, Perkins and private loans are not included. While FFEL loan holders could consolidate those loans now and gain relief until October 2020, there is likely no reason to include a Perkins loan in that strategy as they’re already incrementally forgivable for teachers.

For NYSUT members aiming for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), the waiver means that you will receive credit for making six payments toward the 120 needed for forgiveness -- without having to actually make a payment. There's also no need to pay down the principal balance because your goal in PSLF is to maximize the amount to be forgiven (in other words, to pay as little as possible over time until you've made 120 qualifying payments). If your loans are not eligible for PSLF, and you can afford to, you might choose to make payments until October 2020 (as those will go directly toward reducing your principal balance). If you are holding private loans, you should make contact with your lender as soon as possible to inquire about any temporary relief being offered. Many private lenders are also ramping up efforts to assist consumers and may offer fee waivers and/or partial payments until the crisis is over.

If you were already 31 days past due on your federal loans, the initial forbearance offered by the government has also been extended to September 30, 2020, and collection efforts are supposed to have been stopped until then. The same is somewhat true for any Treasury offsets that were in the works, but only through mid May 2020. The U.S. Department of Education has indicated it will refund $1.8 billion to more than 830,000 borrowers whose offsets were in the process of being withheld on March 13, 2020, when the COVID-19 national emergency was declared. Details about how those refunds will be made have not yet been released. For anyone going through the federal student loan rehab process, the six month payment waiver also applies to you -- enabling you to reach the nine required payments much easier.

Click here for more information about our endorsed student loan and debt counseling program, or contact a Cambridge counselor toll-free at 888-254-9827 with any student loan questions or 888-254-0398 with any credit or debt-related questions.


INSURANCE INFORMATION
METLIFE INSURANCE PROGRAMS >>
(Provided by MetLife)
The MetLife organization remains committed to ensuring that NYSUT members continue to receive timely handling of claims. Each claim that MetLife receives will be reviewed on its individual facts consistent with policy terms and applicable insurance law.

Term Life & Level Term Life Insurance:
MetLife understands these are challenging times for many businesses. As an accommodation to its clients and in the event that premiums cannot be paid during the contract grace period, MetLife will be extending grace periods for the lesser of 90 days from premium due date or July 31, 2020 -- unless a different grace period is required by law.

This policy will be applied for all premiums due March 1, 2020 and forward, as well as apply to any premium within the current 30-day grace period. MetLife will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional guidance as it becomes available.

MetLife is also monitoring state specific mandates and will comply with those mandates. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, MetLife will review this guidance for necessary actions and provide updates where the guidance or process has changed.

Please Note:
Members who participate in our endorsed MetLife Term Life or Level Term Life insurance programs can have important documents such as a Will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy created for them at no cost. Estate Resolution Services are also available to help settle an estate. For more information, please refer to your outline of coverage. Click here for the Term Life outline of coverage. Click here for the Level Term Life outline of coverage.

Disability Insurance:
MetLife understands these are challenging times for many businesses. As an accommodation to its clients and in the event that premiums cannot be paid during the contract grace period, MetLife will be extending grace periods for the lesser of 90 days from premium due date or July 31, 2020 -- unless a different grace period is required by law.

This policy will be applied for all premiums due March 1, 2020 and forward, as well as apply to any premium within the current 30-day grace period. MetLife will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional guidance as it becomes available.

MetLife is also monitoring state specific mandates and will comply with those mandates. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, MetLife will review this guidance for necessary actions and provide updates where the guidance or process has changed. 

If you are enrolled in disability insurance, you also have access to AXA Travel Assistance. If you are traveling more than 100 miles away from home (whether for work or on personal travel), your travel assist benefits can assist if you are ill and become hospitalized. Assistance is also available in other countries, such as locating local medical assistance, telemedical assistance or assistance in filling prescriptions. Other assistance such as medical evacuation is also available but is subject to country specific regulations and travel restrictions.

For more information about AXA Travel Assistance, click here or call 800-454-3679 within the U.S. or 312-935-3783 if outside the U.S.

Dental Plan:
The COVID-19 situation has not directly affected MetLife’s dental operations, including their call response center and claims handling. During this period of uncertainty, MetLife has made an exception to extend the grace period for premium payment to 90 days after the premium due date. This policy will be applied for all premiums due March 1, 2020 and forward until the crisis is deemed over. MetLife is monitoring all other state specific mandates and will comply with those mandates. For more information, click here or call toll-free 888-883-0046.

Auto & Home (MetLife Choice):
MetLife is implementing any required changes in states that have issued regulations, bulletins, orders, etc. regarding grace periods or cancellations/non-renewals, along with reinstating any policy that cancels for non-payment during the applicable time period. Individual policyholders who are in need of billing accommodations should contact their local agent and/or the MetLife Service Center toll-free at 866-NYSUT-22 (697-8822).

In most states, MetLife is honoring a 30 to 60 day grace period for policyholders who call in requesting accommodations, unless there are state mandates/requirements that supersede the general guidance. At this time, the following states have requested that MetLife cease cancellation of policies on a temporary basis: Arkansas, California, Delaware, Mississippi and New Mexico. This list is subject to change. Click here to learn more about MetLife's response to the COVID-19 situation.

WRAPPLAN II UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE >>
(Provided by Aon Voluntary Benefits & Enrollment Solutions)
Transamerica (the underwriter of our endorsed WrapPlan II Universal Life Insurance Plan) is committed to ensuring its customers and their employees are supported during this time, which includes keeping valuable coverage. Transamerica intends to be flexible on billing matters and is prepared to extend grace periods to keep coverage in place. If payment disruptions are anticipated, please contact Aon Voluntary Benefits & Enrollment Solutions toll-free at 866-697-8897 or via email at univers.labor@aon.com to assist you with this process. Transamerica will work with the member to recoup missed premiums over time. If your state department of insurance has issued direction regarding leniency of premium payments, Transamerica will act in accordance with this direction.

CATASTROPHE MAJOR MEDICAL PLAN >>
(Sponsored by the NYSUT Member Benefits Catastrophe Major Medical Insurance Trust)
The CMM Insurance Trust has extended the grace period for premium payment to 90 days after the premium due date until the crisis is determined to be over. If there are any questions regarding this matter, please contact Mercer Consumer toll-free at 888-386-9788.

NEW YORK LONG-TERM CARE BROKERS >>
New York Long-Term Care Brokers (the provider of our endorsed long-term care insurance program) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and taking precautionary measures to promote the health and safety of its clients. The company has a multi-disciplinary team of subject matter experts meeting daily to closely monitor, assess and respond to the situation as it continues to develop. NYLTCB remains committed to providing superior service to its policyholders and is taking active steps to prevent any interruption in its business processes. Note: If you are experiencing a hardship due to COVID-19, NYLTCB is offering its customers state-specific assistance with extended grace periods through certain insurance carriers. If you have any questions regarding your insurance policy, please contact NYLTCB toll-free at 888-884-0077.

PET INSURANCE >>
(Provided by Nationwide)
Nationwide (the provider of our endorsed pet insurance program) is offering a grace period on billing for all pet insurance members, by request from the policyholder. Nationwide customer service representatives can provide a 60-day grace period for non-payment resulting from COVID-19 impacts, starting March 11, 2020 and running through June 1, 2020. Nationwide will always comply with legal and regulatory orders. Click here to learn more about Nationwide.

GROUP DENTAL PLANS >>
(Provided by Delta Dental)
Click here
to view a COVID-19 update from Delta Dental (the provider of our endorsed Group Dental Plans).

FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS >>
(Provided by the P&A Group)
Click here
to view a COVID-19 Flexible Spending Account update from the P&A Group. Over-the-counter medications are now reimbursable under Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Health Savings Accounts without requiring a prescription or completing a Letter of Medical Necessity Form. Click here to learn more.

SHOPPING, TRAVEL & PERSONAL PROGRAMS
OFFICE DEPOT/OFFICEMAX >>
Our endorsed Office Depot/OfficeMax program can assist NYSUT members with purchasing home office items and other essentials at an average savings of 30% online through the company's website or using store pick-up options. NYSUT members can save on home office and printing needs, cleaning supplies, Keurig® K-Cups, snacks and much more, with up to 75% off preferred products, free delivery on qualifying orders over $50 and discounted printing prices. Click here to learn more about Office Depot/OfficeMax.

GRAND CIRCLE FAMILY OF COMPANIES >>
The Grand Circle family of companies, which includes Grand Circle Cruise Line, Grand Circle Travel & Overseas Adventure Travel, has postponed departures of all of their base trips through the end of July 2020. Travelers impacted by this are being rebooked to the closest available departure date in 2021. All rebooked travelers will receive a $500 per person credit along with the opportunity to save 10% on their trip cost with Grand Circle's Good Buy Plan. If travelers wish to move to a different departure date, they may do so under Grand Circle's new Flexible Booking Policy through December 31, 2020 with any change fees being waived. Click here to learn more.

CONNECT AMERICA >>
Our endorsed Connect America program offers NYSUT members and their families the peace of mind that comes from having a personal emergency response system. Both traditional landline and cell phone systems are available. Effective March 2, 2020, Member Benefits is pleased to announce new lower pricing options and enhancements. Click here to learn more.

1800FLOWERS.COM >>
Our endorsed 1800Flowers.com program is offering the option to send best wishes and greetings to your family members and friends with free e-cards. Click here to send an e-card now. The 1800Flowers.com family of companies has also altered its procedures during this time to ensure that no contact is necessary for deliveries (with the exception of food items). Click here to learn more.

ONLINE DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE >>
Through our endorsed Defensive Driving Program, NYSUT members and their family members licensed in New York State can take this course online at the members-only price of $21.95 per person -- a 27% savings over the regular course fee. If you are the principal operator of a vehicle, you will receive a minimum 10% reduction in the base rate of your auto liability and collision insurance premiums each year for three years. You may also receive a reduction of up to four points on your driving record. This course is sponsored by the National Safety Council. Click here to learn more.