COVID-19 Daily Insurance Regulatory Updates To Keep You Informed During The Lockdown (May 21, 2020)
May 21, 2020

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

Vermont: On May 18, the Vermont Department of Labor issued a memorandum to medical providers, workers’ compensation adjusters, workers’ compensation attorneys, injured workers and other interested parties related to Independent Medical Examinations, clarifying the requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Property and Casualty Insurance

Kentucky: On May 20, Commissioner Clark issued a Notice to all insurers transacting commercial insurance business in the Commonwealth of Kentucky regarding the limited waiver of vacancy clauses in commercial insurance policies. The Notice informs all insurers that the Department shall enforce a limited waiver of commercial policy vacancy clauses. Vacancy clauses shall be waived to the extent claims denial, policy cancellation, or policy nonrenewal would occur based solely on the insured’s business location being temporarily unoccupied because the insured complied with Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Texas: On May 21, the Texas Department of Insurance issued Commissioner’s Bulletin No. B-0028-20 to all title insurance companies, title agents, direct operations, and escrow officers; and other relevant parties regarding the COVID-19: Simultaneous Issuance of Owner’s and Loan Policies – Rate Rule R 5.F. The Department will not cite title agents and title insurance companies who charge the “simultaneous issuance” premium described in Rate Rule R-5.F for Loan Policies issued more than 90 days after the Owner’s Policy if certain conditions are met.

Health Insurance

New York: On May 19, the New York Department of Financial Services issued Insurance Circular Letter No. 11 (2020) to All Insurers Authorized to Write Accident and Health Insurance in New York State, Article 43 Corporations, Health Maintenance Organizations, Student Health Plans Certified Pursuant to Insurance Law § 1124, Municipal Cooperative Health Benefit Plans, Prepaid Health Services Plans, and Licensed Independent Adjusters, which addresses COVID-19 testing of Nursing Home and Adult Care Facility Personnel. The Circular letter reminds issuers that they must provide coverage of COVID-19 tests for this population, in accordance with EO 202.30, the CARES Act, the FFCRA without imposing copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles.

North Dakota: On May 18th, Insurance Commissioner Godfread issued Bulletin 2020-10 addressing coverage for COVID-19 testing. Bulletin 2020-10 builds upon Bulletin 2020-1, in which health carriers and travel insurers are asked to identify and remove barriers to testing and treatment for COVID-19. Specifically, Bulletin 2020-10 notifies insurers of the expectation that carriers will cover PCR and antigen tests for the detection of COVID-19 when the test is appropriate, and to cover antibody tests when they are medically necessary.

Texas: On May 21, the Texas Department of Insurance issued a notice urging Texans considering a COVID-19 antibody test to first check with their doctor and insurance company to avoid surprise bills.

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center often for up-to-date information to help you stay informed of the legal issues related to COVID-19.

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