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: On April 29, the Connecticut Insurance Department (“CID”) issued Bulletin FS-39, to all foreign insurance companies authorized to do business in Connecticut, regarding compliance with certain hard-copy filing requirements during the COVID-19 emergency. The Bulletin states that foreign companies are still required to make all required electronic filings with the NAIC (e.g. quarterly financial statements, audited financial statements), or for those that are not filed with the NAIC to submit electronically (e.g. quarterly Connecticut State Page), but such filings may be extended upon request by 30, 45, or 60 days.
Connecticut: On April 29, the Connecticut Insurance Department (“CID”) issued Bulletin FS-38, to all domestic insurance companies authorized to do business in Connecticut, regarding compliance with certain hard-copy filing requirements during the COVID-19 emergency. The Bulletin states that domestic companies are still required to make all required electronic filings with the NAIC (e.g. quarterly financial statements, audited financial statements), or for those that are not filed with the NAIC to submit electronically (e.g. quarterly Connecticut State Page), but such filings may be extended upon request by 30, 45, or 60 days.
Kentucky: On April 30, Kentucky issued guidance concerning temporary agent licenses. The guidance provides that the Department will issue temporary agent licenses to individual applicants who otherwise meet the requirements for licensure, without requiring examination, subject to conditions identified in the guidance. The temporary agent licenses will be issued for a period of 180 days and will not renew, but may be extended by the Department as necessary through the duration of the state of emergency.
Nebraska: On May 1, the Nebraska Department of Insurance issued a press release to all producers licensed to sell insurance in the State of Nebraska regarding the reopening of prometric insurance testing centers in Nebraska. Prometric, the insurance producer licensing testing vendor for the Nebraska Department of Insurance, will be reopening some of the insurance testing centers in the state. Virtual testing is also available. Also effective May 1, the Nebraska Department of Insurance will no longer be issuing temporary insurance licenses.
Oklahoma: On May 1, the Oklahoma Insurance Department (“OID”) issued a special notice to all Oklahoma Insurance Companies and licensed insurance professionals regarding the reopening of prometric insurance testing centers in Oklahoma. Prometric, the insurance producer licensing testing vendor for the OID, will be reopening four out of five of the insurance testing centers in the state. The OID will continue to accept and process temporary applications until May 14, 2020, at which time the OID will reevaluate and determine whether to continue accepting temporary applications.
Texas: On May 1, the Texas Department of Insurance issued guidance that they will continue to allow financial filings to be submitted to its office without sworn statements, affidavits, and notarizations through May 31, 2020.
Property and Casualty Insurance
All States: On May 1, the NAIC released guidance stating that they are going to conduct data calls related to business interruption insurance. The first data call on business interruption insurance exposure and premium must be submitted directly to the NAIC by May 22. The second data call on business interruption claims experience will be due monthly, with the first report of data through June 8, 2020, due June 15, 2020.
Minnesota: On April 28, the Minnesota Commerce Department issued Administrative Bulletin 2020-02 to all insurers who write homeowner insurance, stating that, “in light of the challenges related to the COVID-19 virus, the Commerce Department is providing temporary, emergency relief with regard to the annual reporting deadline set forth in Minnesota Statute 65A.28. The deadline to file the annual report has been extended to June 1, 2020.”
Utah: On April 30, the Utah Insurance Department issued Bulletin 2020-8, to property and casualty insurers in Utah, suspending the enforcement of Utah’s vehicle, vessel, and trailer registration laws for those:
A. whose registrations expired or will expire during the period beginning on March 6, 2020 and ending on and including April 30, 2020; or B. whose owner’s duty to register the vehicle began or will begin during the period beginning on March 6, 2020 and ending on and including April 30, 2020.
Massachusetts: On April 30, Massachusetts issued Bulletin 2020-15, which concerns health plan administrative procedures during the pandemic. Among other things, the Bulletin announces that the Division “expects” carriers to take steps to (i) forego prior authorization review or concurrent review for any scheduled surgeries and health admissions at acute care and mental health hospitals for 60 days (or the end of the emergency period if the public health emergency ends prior to the 60 day period); (ii) devote carrier resources to assist hospitals with discharge planning; (iii) provide hospitals additional time to respond to carrier requests for claims review information or to process appeals and documents claims; (iv) delay audits of hospital payments; (v) process all clean claims in accordance with prompt pay standards; (vi) explore ways to streamline coding and billing policies to reduce administrative complexity of claim coding; and (vii) develop processes that expedite health plan credentialing.
Washington: On May 1, Washington officially extended Insurance Commissioner’s Emergency Order 20-01, issued on March 5 and set to expire on May 4, until June 3. Order 20-01, among other things, requires plans to allow a one-time early refill of prescription drugs, and to suspend any prior authorization requirements for treatment or testing of COVID-19.