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

Arkansas:  On April 21, Governor Hutchinson issued Executive Order No. 20-22, amending Executive Order No. 20-19, to include national guard soldiers and airmen on state active duty to the list of people who may qualify for workers’ compensation coverage if they can demonstrate a causal connection between their diagnosis and exposure to COVID-19 as a result of their job.

Michigan:  On April 22, Michigan issued Bulletin 2020-20-INS, which supersedes Bulletin 2020-15-INS. Among other things, the Bulletin provides that, effective immediately, Michigan will issue temporary producer licenses to applicants meeting the requirements for licensure under applicable statute, without requiring examination, subject to conditions described in the Bulletin.  Applicants for a temporary producer license must file an Electronic Resident Licensing application through the National Insurance Producer Registry.

Minnesota:  On April 24, Minnesota issued Regulatory Guidance 20-20.  Among other things, the Guidance provides that, effective immediately, Minnesota will issue temporary producer licenses to applicants who meet the requirements for resident licensure under applicable statute, without requiring examination or the submission of fingerprints, subject to conditions identified in the Guidance. The sponsoring insurer must submit an application on behalf of the temporary producer licensee electronically through SIRCON.

North Carolina:  On April 23, the North Carolina Department of Insurance issued an Advisory on COVID-19 Savings Options.  The Advisory states that companies who choose to share their savings under N.C.G.S. 58-36-60 with ceded policy holders, are permitted to do so by the Department.  However, under no circumstances should the premium remitted to the NCRF be reduced as result of the “savings” shared with consumers.  Additionally, all other provisions of the NCDOI COVID-19 Advisory regarding reporting requirements and savings options issued on April 21, 2020 are still applicable.

South Carolina:  On April 24, the South Carolina Department of Insurance (Department) issued Bulletin 2020-05, advising all insurance companies, including captive insurance companies and other

persons licensed to transact business in South Carolina, that they are still required to make all mandated electronic filings with the NAIC, or to the analyst assigned to such company for those filings that are not filed directly with the NAIC.  The Department is willing to allow insurers an additional 30 days to complete most filings (and 60 days for some).  If an insurer needs an extension, they are asked to request a late filing extension.  Electronic signatures and filings will be accepted as long as the filing complies with the South Carolina Uniform Electronic Signatures Act.  Additionally, the Department will not conduct any on-site examination work during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Health Insurance

Tennessee:  On April 23, Tennessee issued Bulletin 20-08 which, among other things, provides that in the event emergency services or COVID testing and treatment services are rendered to an insured by an out-of-network provider, such provider may bill the carrier directly and the carrier may reimburse such provider the amount the plan would pay for such services if rendered by an in-network provider as payment in full. It also states that hospitals, health systems and providers that provide emergency health care services to uninsured patients are “urged” to only collect from such uninsured patients the cost of providing services.

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.