MetLife Helps Small Business Owners and Their Employees Navigate Pandemic

In response to COVID-19, MetLife is making services available to small business customers free of charge, as well as pledging to not increase rates on Group Benefits products through Sept. 1.

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MetLife (New York) has announced that it is offering several resources to both small business owners and their employees to help them cope with the economic fall-out and immediate challenges of COVID-19.

A recent poll conducted by the insurer and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that 84 percent of small business owners are concerned about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their business, and a majority (58%) are very concerned. MetLife characterizes the poll as providing the first view of the small business landscape from their own perspective.

Todd Katz, EVP, Group Benefits, MetLife.

“MetLife and the Chamber of Commerce have been releasing the quarterly Small Business Index for three years, and our recent poll on the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses is the first time overall business optimism has dropped significantly,” comments Todd Katz, EVP, Group Benefits, MetLife. “We recognize the financial and emotional upheaval the coronavirus is having on the country, particularly small business owners and their employees. MetLife is making resources available free of charge to small businesses to help them navigate these difficult times.”

MetLife has made the following resources available to its small business customers:

  • Financial Wellness. Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees can now access COVID-19-related guidance on cash flow issues, IRS taxpayer relief, government legislation, market volatility and asset allocation through MetLife’s PlanSmart Financial Wellness planners. For 90 days, small business owners and their employees will have phone access—at no cost to them—through the insurer’s alliance with Ernst & Young LLP, (EY, New York), to credentialed EY financial planners.
  • Overall Wellness. Overall individual health and well-being is a top priority during a crisis. To help its small business customers address these needs, MetLife is offering a dedicated COVID-19 hotline provided by LifeWorks. Through the hotline, small business owners and their employees will have access to services including immediate emotional support, research and referrals along with guidance and resources to cope with COVID-19. The hotline is available to all of MetLife’s customers with fewer than 500 employees through September 30.
  • No rate increases. MetLife says it will not increase rates on any Group Benefits products for customers who have fewer than 500 employees for June 1, 2020, through September 1, 2020, renewals.

Additionally, MetLife is making the following available for all customers and their employees:

  • Financial Wellness Hub. The carrier describes this as a dynamic new financial wellness microsite designed to guide employees at all companies and in all circumstances as they actively manage stress, navigate life choices, and manage their finances in this volatile environment. The hub, which MetLife says it will expand over time, is designed to help consumers think about what they need to do now and how they can prepare for the future.
  • Legal document access and review. Through the end of July, MetLife Legal Plans will provide free document review and consultation to all employees, regardless of whether or not they are signed up for the service, of employers that offer MetLife Legal Plans. Employees can access our network attorneys to get answers to questions related to legal issues they may be facing and have attorneys review estate planning documents or insurance forms.

    Meredith Ryan-Reid, SVP, Financial Wellness & Engagement, MetLife.

$25M Commitment Globally

These customer offerings follow MetLife Foundation’s announcement on March 31 that it is committing $25 million to the global response to COVID-19 in support of communities impacted by the pandemic.

“We know that people are struggling. Employers of all sizes want to help their employees get access to tools and resources to better manage their financial and emotional stress,” comments Meredith Ryan-Reid, SVP, Financial Wellness & Engagement, MetLife. “We are committed to helping employees address their current needs and feel more confident about the future.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at [email protected] or (503) 936-2803.

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