You feel fine, but you might still have it

Some people may spread COVID-19 and not know it.

Some people have no symptoms, or symptoms that are so mild that they ignore them. It’s called being asymptomatic, but it doesn’t mean these people are virus-free. They’re not.

Results of a study released by Eurosurveillance say 18% of infected people remained asymptomatic throughout their sickness.

The study reinforces federal guidelines that say people should wash, sanitize, and stay 6 feet away from each other.

You feel awful but can’t afford a test

Gov. Phil Murphy and his administration are ordering New Jersey hospitals and federally qualified health centers to waive patient fees for testing and related diagnostic services for those who lack health insurance.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli reached out to the New Jersey Hospital Association and the New Jersey Primary Care Association, which includes 23 FQHCs with more than 120 satellite locations, to ensure that that the cost for testing and diagnosis should not be a barrier for any of New Jersey’s residents.

In the memo to the New Jersey Hospital Association, Persichilli said hospitals will be able to submit claims for reimbursement to the charity care program, which provides subsidies to hospitals for care

You won’t lose the roof over your head

Homeowners who have lost income or their jobs because of the coronavirus may be able to get their mortgage payments reduced or suspended for up to a year.

Federal regulators are ordering lenders to work with homeowners in dire straits. The order affects about half of all home loans — those guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But regulators expect the entire mortgage industry to go along.

One big thing to note: You can’t just stop paying your mortgage. You need to work out a plan with your lender.

Even better news on federal income taxes

If you haven’t filed your federal 1040 yet, you now have until July 15, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tweeted Friday. President Donald Trump ordered Mnuchin to alert taxpayers that “we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

This is a change from earlier this week, when Mnuchin announced taxpayers had until July 15 to pay up but they still had to file by April 15.

Student loans on spring break

If you have a federal student loan, you may hold off making payments for two months without accruing additional interest accruing, Trump and the Education Department said Friday. The suspension will be in effect for at least 60 days, and it started on March 13.

Need veterans’ benefits? North Jersey claims clinics go phone-only

Due to the COVID-19 Health Crisis, all face-to-face VA claims clinics are suspended until further notice. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Newark Regional Office will be conducting claims clinics by telephone until normal operations resume.

Clinics are by appointment only, and will be held Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. To make an appointment, contact Jennifer Myers at 973-297-3384 or via email at

Update from Union Plus about benefits

Union Plus is working with its program providers to facilitate additional assistance to members. Please note that some programs, including the hardship programs, do require members to be participants and product holders of those programs, and meet certain eligibility requirements. Please contact Union Plus if you have questions.

Union Plus Hardship Assistance: Participants in the Union Plus Mortgage, Credit Card, Personal Loan, or Supplemental Insurance programs may be eligible for additional hardship assistance through the Mortgage Assistance Program and Union Plus Hardship Help.

Union Plus Credit Counseling Program: The credit counseling provider, Money Management International, has suspended in-person counseling.

Union Plus Personal Loan Program: First National Bank of Omaha will waive late fees for anyone who is having trouble making a timely loan payment due to the COVID-19 response.

Union Plus Credit Card Program: Capital One is providing COVID-19 resources here: and is asking customers facing a financial hardship to contact them directly to discuss possible options.

Union Plus Auto & Home Insurance: MetLife will provide reasonable billing accommodations to impacted customers and allow for premium deferrals up to 30 calendar days from the original premium due date. Customers must request the bill hold by calling customer service at 855-666-5797.

Union Plus Mortgage Program: Union members with a Union Plus Mortgage with financing from Wells Fargo can call customer service to get individual assistance if needed.

Union Plus Vacation Tours: At this time, Collette is canceling all tours departing through April 15, 2020, and tours to Italy through April 30.

Finally: Is it safe to do XYZ?

Please CLICK HERE for a printable PDF version of this chart.