JBS To Pay COVID-19-Related Healthcare Costs for Employees
JBS USA announced it has amended its healthcare plan to cover 100% of costs associated with a COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment for employees and their dependents who are enrolled in the plan. This coverage is in addition to free COVID-19 testing that has been available since March and will retroactively cover costs incurred since March 1, a release from the company says.
“As we continue to face a time of great uncertainty due to the pandemic, we wanted to provide additional support to our team members and their families in a meaningful way,” said Andre Nogueira, chief executive officer, JBS USA, in the release. “We are fortunate to be able to eliminate COVID-19 healthcare costs for our team members and their families. We strongly believe this is the right thing to do during the greatest challenge of our generation. This is just one of the ways we are prioritizing the health and safety of our workforce, and we will continue learning, adapting and doing all we can to protect our team members.”
If an employee or their dependent incurred eligible out-of-pocket expenses related to COVID-19 since March 1, they will be reimbursed the cost. Going forward, those enrolled in the healthcare plan will not pay a deductible, co-insurance and their Health Reimbursement Account funds will not be used to cover any of the cost, the release says.
The company also conducts free, random surveillance testing of asymptomatic team members at its facilities to identify and mitigate spread.
The release also notes that the company has implemented “hundreds of safety interventions” to provide a safe workplace for its employees, including temperature screening, staggering start and break times, requiring PPE and using physical barriers, among other changes.
The company has invested $200 million in health and safety measures to protect employees, $160 million in increased wages and bonuses and $50 million to support local communities through its Hometown Strong initiative it says.