N.O.I.T – System Emails


From: Ken Kades <ken.kades@noit.com>
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 5:53 PM
To: Ken Kades <ken.kades@noit.com>
Subject: NOIT Update on Coronavirus

Good afternoon – 

In light of the unprecedented challenges related to Coronavirus, I want to take an opportunity to share some information with the system about how insurance is impacted and how it can help you and your employees.  This will be a long one, so grab a drink and settle in as there is a lot of important information to share.


By now we’re all aware of the importance of social distancing.  Perhaps nowhere is this more important than when seeking medical treatment.  In order to protect yourself and also to preserve precious medical resources and capacity, I encourage all of you to utilize virtual telehealth visits whenever possible.  

The Licensees Plan includes coverage for virtual visits conducted through our partner MDLive.  If you’re in the Licensees Plan and haven’t already registered for MDLive, visit www.MDLive.com/BCBSILto start taking advantage of this resource.  However, even if you’re not participating in the Licensees Plan, you can visit www.MDLive.comor other telehealth vendors to help keep yourself safe.


I’m attaching my message from February 26th (the below section on this web site) confirming that there is no coverage for Coronavirus-related closures or reductions under the NOIT approved package programs.  This isn’t a system-specific issue; this is universal.  We continue to look for other options, and the Government Relations team is working with the National Restaurant Association to ask for a federal solution.  However, I want to manage expectations – barring something unforeseen there will not be business interruption coverage for this situation.


As you see in the FAQs, navigating employee issues during this time can be tricky.  If you purchase the NOIT-endorsed EPLI coverage as part of your package insurance you also have access to the helpline from LaPointe Law.  If you’re considering reducing hours, laying off or terminating employees, or just are concerned about whether you’re complying with your employee handbook, reach out to the helpline at (877) 376-4100.


These are difficult times for all of us.  NOIT and the Licensees Plan are doing all we can to help you and your people navigate them.  Remember, use telehealth and MDLive to promote social distancing.  The Licensees Plan also includes an employee assistance plan (EAP) that provides counseling and other support to people who these days are anxious, isolated, or maybe just need help with child or elder care referrals.  Finally, the Licensees Plan covers Coronavirus testing and related charges at 100% so don’t forego testing because you’re worried about your deductible or copay.  

More information about these services and more can be found at the Licensees Plan’s Operator microsite at www.mcdlicenseebenefits.com.  

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or feedback, and please stay safe.


Note:  This email contained additional content.  Please reference the email you received for all details.



Subject:  Coronavirus & Business Interruption Coverage 

From: Ken Kades <ken.kades@noit.com>   

Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 9:36 PM  

To: Gukenberger Jeff (Contractor) <Jeff.Gukenberger@us.mcd.com>  

Subject: Coronavirus & Business Interruption Coverage

By now, everyone is aware of the burgeoning crisis that has evolved from the Coronavirus outbreak in China.  (Information from the US Centers for Disease Control on Coronavirus can be found here).  

NOIT and Jeff Gukenberger have received numerous questions regarding whether or not there is insurance coverage available for business interruption if a restaurant is closed because of a potential Coronavirus threat.  The short answer is no.  While every circumstance is different, business interruption coverage is generally available when a restaurant is closed or otherwise impacted because of a “covered cause of loss”.   Examples of a covered cause of loss would be fire, tornado, earthquake, flood, windstorm, loss or power or other utility, etc.  Bacterial or viral outbreaks are excluded from coverage.  As such, business interruption for a restaurant closed due to Coronavirus fears or efforts to mitigate a potential outbreak would not be covered.

We know there is great interest in investigating whether separate or stand-alone coverage might be available now.  Again, the short answer is no.  Even before the Coronavirus issue, coverage was not available for epidemics in standard business interruption policies.  This is because insurance companies learned a costly lesson from the SARS outbreak in 2002.  After SARS, insurers across the board exclude epidemics in standard business interruption policies.

We will continue to monitor and investigate whether any future insurance solutions exist.  As of today, unfortunately, there is not a viable commercial insurance option.

N.O.I.T. Executive Team

Ken Kades – Chair

Tony Dobski

Charles Ehlers

Jared Ray