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
Idaho: On April 29, the Idaho Department of Insurance (DOI) released an FAQ for consumers on business interruption insurance in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Illinois: On April 28, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission withdrew the emergency rule, implemented on April 16, which presumed that first responders have been exposed to COVID-19 in the course of their employment during the State of Emergency.
Maine: On April 29, Maine issued Bulletin 447, which concerns extensions of certain regulatory filing deadlines due to the pandemic. The Bulletin provides that, where possible, carriers should make filings as and when required by applicable legal or regulatory authority. However, carriers may contact the Bureau’s Financial Analysis Division to make a written request for an extension of time if the carrier thinks it cannot meet certain financial filing deadlines. The Bulletin goes on to provide that extensions will not exceed 30 and 60 days for specific filing types enumerated in the Bulletin. The Bulletin also announces that the Bureau has temporarily waived hard copy, original signature and related filing requirements while the emergency remains in effect, though the Bureau expects companies to keep a list of all filings that were made electronically in lieu of hard copy filings so that companies may file hard copies within 60 days after the emergency is lifted.
Massachusetts: On April 28, Governor Baker issued COVID-19 Order 30, extending the stay at home order and closure of non-essential businesses until May 18.
North Dakota: On April 29, Commissioner Godfread issued Bulletin 2020-1.1, renewing Bulletin 2020-1 (issued March 11) which addresses the responsibilities of insurers writing travelers or health care coverage concerning COVID-19 testing and treatment.
Virginia: On April 28, the Governor of Virginia issued Executive Order 60, clarifying that the Code of Virginia offers protections from civil liability for healthcare workers and first responders in cases of emergency. Additionally, the Order clarifies that these statues protect healthcare workers operating during the COVID-19 crisis.
Property and Casualty Insurance
Oklahoma: On April 29, Commissioner Mulready issued PC Bulletin 2020-01 (Amended), which instructs property and casualty insurers providing coverage to Oklahoma residents to take certain immediate measures related to the potential impact of COVID-19. The amended Bulletin includes the following provisions:
- The Department expects that all insurers and premium finance companies will afford the extended grace period for consumers to pay their premiums. If the premium or premium finance installment payment isn’t subsequently paid by the insured, the policy is cancelled back to the original due date.
- Property and casualty insurers and other entities regulated by my office, shall accept as valid and binding, any claim or claim related document bearing an e-signature or an e-notary as otherwise authorized pursuant to Oklahoma law.
Texas: On April 27, the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) issued a proposed data call requesting a small group of commercial insurers to report COVID-19 exposures and injuries as well as benefit payments made on COVID-19 claims through June 30, 2020, in order to determine the impact of COVID-19. The DWC is requesting comments to the draft data call by Friday, May 8, 2020.
Texas: On April 29, the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) issued a memo, to all workers’ compensation system participants, stating that maximum medical improvement (MMI) and impairment rating (IR) evaluations are not permitted through telemedicine. Healthcare providers, including doctors, may jeopardize their DWC certifications if they provide these evaluations.
Oklahoma: On April 29, Commissioner Mulready issued LH Bulletin 2020-02 (Amended), which instructs health carriers providing coverage through health benefit plans to Oklahoma residents to take certain immediate measures related to the potential impact of COVID-19. The amended Bulletin includes the following provisions:
- Health carriers shall follow federal guidelines with respect to payment of anti-body tests related to COVID-19.
- Health carriers and other entities regulated by [the Commissioner’s] office, shall accept as valid and binding, any claim or claim related document bearing an e-signature or an e-notary as otherwise authorized pursuant to Oklahoma law.
- All health carriers shall continue to pay claims without regard to premium payment status during the (60) day period. Claims may not be pended for payment during the (60) day period nor shall carriers recoup claims payment amounts from future provider reimbursements. Carriers shall follow all state, federal and administrative guidance related to cancellations.