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.

Property and Casualty Insurance

Massachusetts:  On May 18, Commissioner Anderson published Bulletin 2020-17, to all property and casualty insurers, urging insurers to help businesses maintain their existing coverage by providing as much flexibility regarding vacancy clauses as is reasonably possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Insurance

Massachusetts:  On May 18, Commissioner Anderson published Bulletin 2020-16, updating Bulletin 2020-02, regarding COVID-19 testing and the expectations of the Department to commercial health carriers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.,  and Health Maintenance Organizations regarding these carrier’s coverage of COVID-19.  The Department expects carriers to take all necessary steps to aid covered members in getting the proper testing for COVID-19.

New Hampshire:  On May 18, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Orders #44 and #45 as part of the state’s efforts to respond to COVID-19.  Emergency Order 44 is a modification of Emergency Order #9 (Establishment of the COVID-19 Emergency Healthcare System Relief Fund), and Emergency Order 45 is a Modification of Emergency Order #31 (Establishment of the COVID-19 Long Term Care Stabilization Program).

Wisconsin:  On May 19, the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance published a press release stating that testing for COVID-19 must be covered by private health insurance, including cost-sharing like co-pays for office, urgent care, and emergency department visits, according to Commissioner Afable. The press release covers the information included in the notice to Insurers, dated May 19, in which Commissioner Afable gives notice of the provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) regarding the obligations of insurers to cover testing and related services for COVID-19.