Here for employees, agents, policy owners, and communities during COVID-19.

New York Life | June 22, 2020

Remote worker

As COVID-19 has spread into our consciousness and our communities, bringing uncertainty around jobs, the economy, and overall financial security, New York Life has been focused on what truly matters—protecting those we care about most.

As we look back at the last 175 years of our history—through the Yellow Fever epidemics in the 19th century, the great pandemic of 1918, two world wars, the Great Depression, and the Financial Crisis of 2008-2009—we have leaned on our values of integrity, humanity, and financial strength as we protected the future for our clients and their loved ones. Having experienced and successfully navigated all of these prior crises, we have the humility to know that we can’t predict the future, but the confidence that we can prepare for whatever it may hold.

Here are some of the ways we have been working to support our employees and agents, policy owners, and communities, during this unprecedented time:

  • Following the implementation of work at home rotations for two groups comprising 50 percent of employees each beginning March 9, we proactively moved to a policy where the vast majority of employees were working from home from March 18. For the limited number of our essential staff, we implemented flexible work arrangements, transportation, and other accommodations to ensure employees’ safety and comfort.
  • We eliminated all domestic and international business travel, meetings larger than 20 people and entry to our Home Office in New York City for all third parties in early March.
  • For participants in our medical plan for 90 days, both Teledoc Primary Appointments and Coronavirus testing are fully covered at no cost to the employee.
  • We’ve increased the company’s contribution to the Employee Assistance Fund, which is available to all employees, to $1M.
  • We’ve launched a series of webinars and virtual resources for caring for parents and children, stress management and self-care and working at home effectively.
  • We are guaranteeing no COVID-19 related layoffs throughout 2020.

  • All 116 General Offices (GO) are closed but we enabled work-at-home capabilities for all agents and GO employees.
  • We remain open for business and have enabled the sales process to continue virtually.
  • We established measures to provide a safety net for agents during this time, including:

o   New agents are receiving a stipend; Established agents have access to low-interest loans and a bonus on eligible commissions.
o   No production-related terminations.
o   Covering healthcare premiums for all agents.
o   Waiving General Office rent and group insurance costs. 

  • On March 23rd, New York Life announced that no client who had an existing policy and paid the first premium would lose their coverage for the next 90 days beginning on March 24th.
  • ·All policy owners can request a 12-month, interest-free repayment plan to pay any amounts that were required to keep coverage in force but not paid, during the temporary pause in effect until June 23, 2020.
  • If policy owners are having difficulty maintaining premium payments after the grace period and can demonstrate financial hardship, they may also be eligible for New York Life’s Financial Hardship program which offers additional flexibility, including extending the temporary pause on cancellation of coverage up to an additional 90 days (subject to a 180-day maximum). After this period, policy owners are eligible for an interest free repayment plan of at least 12 months.
  • Policy owners with permanent insurance who are no longer able to pay premiums can receive a ‘paid-up’ policy equal to the premiums paid.

In April, the New York Life Foundation , together with Cigna Foundation, launched the Brave of Heart Fund at E4E Relief with initial contributions of $25 million each. To further support the Fund, which was established to provide financial and emotional support to the families of healthcare workers and volunteers nationwide who lose their lives to COVID-19, the New York Life Foundation will also provide a dollar-for-dollar match on the first $25 million in individual donations received, and Cigna has committed to provide behavioral and emotional health support to the families to help them cope with grief. In addition, the New York Life Foundation has made over $7M in donations and commitments to organizations serving communities across the country. Here are some examples of how we have contributed:

  • $750,000 donation to the United States Coronavirus Relief Fund at Project HOPE to procure personal protection equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers.
  • $500,000 donation to the New York State First Responder’s Fund, to assist health care workers and first responders with PPE, expenses and costs, including childcare.
  • $500,000 to support the general operating needs of our current strategic partners that provide out-of-school time educational programming and childhood bereavement programs.
  • $500,000 donation to Feeding America, to help food banks across the country as they support communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $400,000 to the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund, to support African American communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
  • $325,000 to Save the Children to support the poorest and most at-risk communities around the world impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $275,000 to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, to respond to the increased demand for services as a result of the pandemic.
  • $250,000 to the Hispanic Federation’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, which supports immigrant-focused community-based organizations and the communities they serve.
  • $250,000 to the New York Life Emergency Assistance Fund for agents and employees in need.
  • $400,000 in matching contributions for New York Life workforce donations to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, First Book, the New York Life Emergency Assistance Fund and the Brave of Heart Fund.
  • $236,500 to support First Book’s efforts to provide books to schools in low-income communities experiencing school closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $225,000 to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Covid-19 Response Fund.
  • $225,000 to the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • 11,000 masks to the Brooklyn Hospital Center.
  • 5,000 vinyl gloves and 400 bottles of hand sanitizer to New York City-area hospitals through the Greater New York Hospital Association.

In keeping with our tradition to serve the communities where we live and work, the New York Life Foundation has done the following:

  • Offered virtual volunteer opportunities for employees who wish to give back while working from home.
  • Launched a virtual ‘Ask the Expert’ series that highlights Foundation partners’ perspectives on talking to children about COVID-19, self-care and stress management, out of school time programs, educational equity and more.
  • Building on the Love Takes Action campaign that we launched in February, we established April 27 as Love Takes Action Day and our workforce came together to volunteer virtually or in their community, record their efforts, share their stories and vote for up to five organizations to receive part of $1.75M in donations. More than 100 offices across the nation offered acts of kindness, including sidewalk BBQ for hospital workers, cards of support to teachers and first responders, and a Zoom magic show.
  • Created the Love Takes Action Awards for employees to nominate individuals in their communities who are going above and beyond to help others in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-five winning nominees will be chosen to be honored and select a nonprofit to receive a $50,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation. Heather Nesle, President of the New York Life Foundation said, “The Love Takes Action Awards is an opportunity to recognize 35 local heroes from across the nation who represent the spirit of agape or selfless love. These individuals are putting others needs before their own by generously providing support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in their communities.”

Go back to our newsroom to read more stories.


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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937