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Aside from potential claims costs, employers need to be aware of their leave of absence and continuation of coverage provisions. How long should these ill individuals stay on the health plan? (Photo: Shutterstock)

As we approach the middle of 2021 and almost 18 months of COVID-19, it is likely that every person in the United States knows at least one person that has been diagnosed with COVID-19. If you are lucky, those individuals will have survived and be back to living a normal life. Some are just not so lucky and are being classified as COVID long-haulers – meaning these individuals continue to feel the symptoms long after the disease typically runs its course of days or weeks for most that are diagnosed.

I have a very dear friend that was one of the healthiest people I know prior to September 2020. She was an extremely active and physically fit 38-year-old–she had biceps that everyone could envy. She ate an extremely healthy diet and overall took very good care of herself. Obstacle course races were her favorite workout. In her home life, she is married with two sons. Unfortunately, as a home health physical therapist assistant, it was only a matter of time as an essential worker that she was exposed, and ultimately diagnosed with COVID-19 in September of 2020.

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