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
Oregon: On June 22, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services/Division of Financial Regulation (“DFR”) extended the Property and Casualty Emergency Order requiring insurers to provide grace periods, suspension of cancellations and nonrenewals, and extensions of deadlines for reporting claims through July 22.
Massachusetts: On June 23, the Massachusetts Department of Insurance issued Bulletin 2020-20, to extend the special enrollment period as described in Bulletins 2020-03, 2020-09, and 2020-18 for eligible individuals not currently enrolled in an insurance plan. The special enrollment period is effective until July 23, 2020.
Oregon: On June 23, the State of Oregon announced that it has reached an agreement with several health insurance companies to continue providing expanded telehealth options through at least Dec. 31, 2020. The agreement follows guidance issued by the DFR and the Oregon Health Authority in late March requiring health insurance plans of all types to provide coverage for multiple telehealth platforms at the same rate as an in-person visit to limit in-person health care services. It is important to note that this agreement does not apply to self-insured plans. The state encourages self-insured plans to cover expanded telehealth services for members. These are plans in which an employer assumes the financial risk of providing health care benefits to its employees.
Pennsylvania: On June 23, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department issued a notice to insurers highlighting inappropriate billing practices. The notice is a continuation of Notice 2020-03, issued on March 21, 2020, which urged health insurers to help consumers avoid balance billing and surprise balance bills. The notice also recommended health insurers make all necessary and useful information available on their websites, or through consumer assistance lines, in an effort to provide readily available accurate information for insureds during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The department encourages health insurers to alert consumers to the potential for these improper billing practices through communication on their website or consumer assistance lines, so they are empowered to lodge a complaint with either the insurer or the Office of Attorney General.