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

Massachusetts:  On May 1, Commissioner Gallagher issued a letter to all regulated insurance premium finance companies stating that, given the Division of Insurance’s expectation that insurance carriers explore relief options for policyholders prior to cancellation, the Division of Banks similarly expects Insurance Premium Finance Companies will work to provide flexibility and relief to customers during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Minnesota:  On May 1, the Minnesota Commerce Department, issued a Commissioners Order, to all affected parties, stating, that in order to provide relief or safe harbor from legal obligations with respect to licensees or other persons regulated by the Department of Commerce, or to ensure continuity of department operations and processes, the Commissioner has delayed, stayed, or waived the deadlines and requirements set forth in Regulatory Guidance 20-25 and 20-26 (Deadline Extension for Appraisal of Other Real Estate Acquired by Banks).

New Jersey:  On May 1, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance issued Bulletin 20-21 establishing the process to apply for, and the criteria for the issuance of, a temporary resident producer license. Such licenses will only be issued during the duration of the state of emergency.

Oklahoma:  On May 4, the Oklahoma Department of Insurance issued a Special Notice, stating, that in response to the Governor’s emergency declaration to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s (OID) two locations will remain closed to the public until the statewide emergency is lifted and the agency is provided additional guidance. OID will continue to work remotely and will be able to assist you via phone, email, social media or website. All scheduled in-person meetings and events are postponed until further notice.

Vermont:  On May 4, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation released COVID-19 Guidance for business owners during the phased restart initiative.  Among other things, the Guidance discusses liability of business owners for transmission of COVID-19 to customers and employees, claims for loss of income, and recommendations for businesses.   

Property and Casualty Insurance

Delaware:  On April 28, the Delaware Department of Insurance (Department) issued Domestic and Foreign Insurers Bulletin No. 119, informing insurers that approval of workers’ compensation insurance premium credits associated with the Workplace Safety Program may be delayed due to the Department’s difficulty in conducting workplace inspections. Additionally, the Department requests that insurers who write workers’ compensation insurance allow at least three to six months additional time for 2020 discounts to be applied and, where possible, allow additional time for premiums to be paid.

Minnesota:  On May 1, the Minnesota Commerce Department, issued Regulatory Guidance 20-25 to all licensed insurers writing homeowner’s insurance in Minnesota for property located in the metropolitan area or a statutory or home rule charter city of the first class, providing temporary, emergency relief with regard to the annual reporting deadlines set forth in Minnesota Statutes, section 65A.28.  According to the Guidance, the deadline to file the annual report that is due on or before May 1, 2020 has been extended to June 1, 2020.

Health Insurance

Colorado:  On April 30, Governor Polis issued Executive Order D 2020 054 ordering the suspension of certain statutes and directing the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to provide additional funds to nursing homes and other congregate care facilities due to the presence of COVID-19.  Pursuant to the Order, the requirements of C.R.S. § 25.5-6-202(5) that establish the mechanism for determining the amount of supplemental payments for Medicaid-certified nursing facilities, and the requirements of C.R.S. §§ 25.5-6-204(1)(a), (1)(b), and (2)(a) that establish the rate for reimbursement under the Medicaid program for intermediate care facilities to increase reimbursement rates for certified intermediate care facilities, are temporarily suspended.  Additionally, the Governor directs HCPF to promulgate and issue temporary emergency rules through the Medical Services Board to increase supplemental payments from HCPF to Medicaid-certified nursing facilities, as defined in C.R.S. § 25.5-6-202, and intermediate nursing facilities as defined in C.R.S. § 25.5-6-204, to protect such facilities’ residents from COVID-19.

New York:  On May 2, the New York Department of Financial Services issued Insurance Circular Letter No. 10 (2020), to all insurers authorized to write accident and health insurance in New York State, promulgating an emergency regulation to prohibit issuers from imposing cost-sharing for mental health services rendered by in-network providers on an outpatient basis for essential workers, regardless of whether the services are provided by telehealth.  The emergency regulation is effective for 90 days, at which point the Department may issue a further emergency regulation.