In conjunction with the Locke Lord COVID-19 task force, we are reviewing, analyzing, and compiling regulatory updates to provide clients easy access to information during this unprecedented time. If you have any questions on the subject matter below, do not hesitate to reach out. The information below relates to state and federal bulletins, emergency orders, pending/enacted legislation, and other related actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All Lines of Insurance
Connecticut: The Connecticut Insurance Department (“CID”) has issued Insurance Bulletin FS-37, to all insurance companies, health care centers, and fraternal benefit societies authorized to do business in the state, regarding an Extension of Licensing Deadlines in Light of COVID-19. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the Commissioner has extended the renewal date for licenses issued to insurance companies, health care centers and fraternal benefit societies. The Bulletin applies to all licenses previously issued by the CID to insurance companies, health care centers and fraternal benefit societies bearing an expiration date of May 1, 2020.
Georgia: On April 8th, Governor Brian Kemp issued an Executive Order extending the public state of emergency resulting from the COVID-19 crisis until May 13, 2020. Additionally, the Order extends Executive Orders 04.02.20.01, 04.03.20.01, and 04.03.20.02 until April 30, 2020.
Iowa: On April 9, Iowa issued Bulletin 20-07 concerning temporary producer licensing during the pandemic. Iowa will issue temporary licenses, which may be obtained until June 1, 2020. To obtain a temporary producer license, an applicant must have an Iowa licensed resident producer in good standing supervise the business of the individual. The producer sponsoring the applicant must attest to being responsible for all business of the applicant.
Louisiana: Commissioner James Donelon has extended the effective date of Emergency Rule 39 from April 13, 2020 to May 12, 2020. Emergency Rule 39 allows a commercial policyholder to request either a mid-term self-audit or a physical audit by an insurer of auditable policies that may need a premium adjustment. The Emergency Rule applies to admitted insurers, but surplus lines insurers are urged and requested to adhere to it.
Massachusetts: On April 8th, Governor Charles Baker filed with the Massachusetts legislature for approval, the Act To Provide Liability Protections For Health Care Workers And Facilities During The COVID-19 Pandemic, extending civil liability protection to health care providers, health care facilities, and volunteer organizations. Additionally, Governor Baker issued the Designation of Authorized Health Care Activities Pursuant to the PREP Act Directive, in order to protect covered persons and entities with civil immunity to the fullest extent provided in the PREP Act in their efforts to contribute to the Commonwealth’s public health and medical response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Minnesota: On April 9, Minnesota issued Regulatory Guidance 20-15, which provides temporary guidance to allow continuing education providers to convert in-person continuing education courses previously approved by the agency to webinars.
New Hampshire: On April 8, New Hampshire issued Bulletin 20-24-AB, which provides guidance on recent Executive Order’s from Governor Sununu relating to telemedicine and COVID-19 coverage. The Bulletin confirms that the DOI requires coverage of telemedicine services for all provider types when the services are covered under the underlying policy and are clinically appropriate for telehealth. The Bulletin also provides guidance on what is deemed treatment “related” to COVID-19.
Utah: On April 8th, Commissioner Todd Kiser issued Bulletin 2020-06, advising all insurance companies regarding compliance with regulatory requirements during the COVID-19 public health emergency. At this time, companies are still required to make all required electronic filings with the NAIC (e.g., quarterly financial statements, audited financial statements). However, the Utah Insurance Department (“UID”) is willing to allow insurers an additional 30 days to complete most of the following filings (and 60 days for some), but must receive a request for late filing from such company. Additionally, the UID reserves the right to reject any such individual company requests based upon the company’s financial condition and unique circumstances deemed applicable to that company. The Bulletin also states the UID and other states will be issuing information requests from insurers in the near future.
Property and Casualty Insurance
Missouri: On April 7th, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Workers’ Compensation, adopted Emergency Rule 8 MO ADC 50-5.005, which creates a presumption that First Responders infected by or quarantined due to COVID-19 are deemed to have contracted a contagious or communicable occupational disease arising out of and in the course of the performance of their employment. The Emergency Rule was filed April 8, 2020, becomes effective April 22, 2020, and expires February 1, 2021.
New York: The New York Workers’ Compensation Board has issued COVID-19 Guidance: Submitting Medical Bills and Attached Reports. To accommodate insurance carriers, self-insured employers, and third-party administrators having their staff work from home, the Workers’ Compensation Board has changed its guidance on submitting medical bills and attached reports.
Oklahoma: On April 8th, the Oklahoma Department of Insurance (DOI) notified insurers writing private passenger automobile insurance in the state to respond to a survey on special allowances they plan to give policyholders who are traveling less due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Response to the data call are due by April 15, 2020.
South Carolina: On April 8th, the South Carolina legislature introduced SB. 1188, which would amend Article 1, Chapter 75, Title 38 of the 1976 Insurance Code, and require insurers providing coverage for loss of use and occupancy or business interruption to cover claims directly or indirectly resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bill states, “no insurer in this State may deny a claim for a loss of use and occupancy, or business interruption, with respect to COVID-19, including, but not limited to, attempted insurer denials on account of:
(1) COVID-19 being a virus, even if the relevant insurance policy excludes losses resulting from viruses;
(2) there being no physical damage to the property of the insured or to any other relevant property; or
(3) orders issued by any civil authority, or acts or decisions of a governmental entity.”
Similar retroactive insurance coverage legislation has been proposed in New Jersey, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania.
Colorado: On April 7th, the Colorado Division of Insurance issued Bulletin No. B-4.106 (Policy Directives for Commercial Insurance Market Coverage of Home Health Services Related to COVID-19 or COVID-19-Like Symptoms), to remind carriers of their obligation to provide coverage for certain health care services provided at home for covered persons with COVID-19 or COVID-19 like symptoms during the COVID-19 public health emergency. For patients who, as determined by a medical provider, can be appropriately monitored and treated at home, outside a health care facility setting, carriers are reminded that they must provide coverage for necessary medical equipment and medications for in home treatment.
Oklahoma: On April 6, Oklahoma released an amended version of Bulletin 2020-02 (originally released on March 17). Among many other things, the Bulletin (i) directs health carriers to review their internal processes and operations relating to ability to continue to service insureds even if workers are telecommuting; (ii) states that all health carriers shall not require specific platforms for providers and facilities to perform telemedicine services for the insureds; and (iii) states that health carriers shall waive any cost-sharing for COVID-19 laboratory tests and waive cost-sharing for an in-network provider office visit and an in-network urgent care center visit when testing for COVID-19.
Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center often for up-to-date information to help you stay informed of the legal issues related to COVID-19.