COVID-19 Insurance Updates
April 28, 2020
On April 3, 2020, the Department of Insurance issued Regulatory Bulletin 2020-02. As discussed in the March 31, 2020, edition of Compliance Corner, Gov. Ducey issued an executive order instructing the department to clarify the order’s requirements imposed upon health plans of any type in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Pursuant to that mandate, this regulatory bulletin, which applies to plans issued or delivered in the state, requires those plans to: cover out-of-network lab testing; waive cost sharing for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19 (including office and urgent care visits); and to cover telemedicine services.
On April 16, 2020, the department issued Regulatory Bulletin 2020-04 to all insurers providing health coverage, among other types of coverage. The bulletin encourages insurers to work with insureds to make sure that policies do not lapse, including refraining from cancelling policies due to nonpayment.
The bulletins are primarily directed at insurers. However, employers should also be aware of these developments.
Regulatory Bulletin 2020-02 »
Regulatory Bulletin 2020-04 »
Executive Order on Prescription Drug Coverage During COVID-19
April 14, 2020
On April 2, 2020, Gov. Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-20, which requires the Arizona Board of Pharmacy to allow pharmacists to utilize their professional judgement to dispense emergency refills of maintenance medications for up to a 90-day supply and an additional 90-day supply if necessary. The board must also waive electronic prescribing requirements, waive the requirement that companies making hand sanitizer must have a permit, and other measures to facilitate an effective response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The executive order is primarily directed at the state’s pharmacy board. However, employers and insurers should also be aware of these developments and their impact on costs to health plans.
Executive Order 2020-20 »
Insurance Updates Regarding COVID-19
March 31, 2020
On March 11, 2020, Gov. Ducey signed Executive Order 2020-07 directing insurance companies to cover the costs of COVID-19 diagnostic testing from all qualified laboratories, regardless of whether the laboratory is in the insurance company’s provider network; waive copays, coinsurance, and deductibles (cost-sharing requirements) related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing; and pass less cost to health plan members for telemedicine visits than for in-person visits, and encourage use of telemedicine during the health emergency.
On March 23, 2020, Gov. Ducey signed Executive Order 2020-12, declaring insurance services as essential business operations.
On March 25, 2020, Gov. Ducey signed Executive Order 2020-15 directing insurance companies regulated by Arizona to provide coverage for all health care services that are provided through telemedicine if the health care service would be covered were it provided through an in-person visit. Insurers can establish reasonable requirements and parameters for this coverage, but they cannot be any more restrictive or less favorable than those delivered in-person. In addition, insurers must reimburse health care providers at the same level for telemedicine visits as they would in-person visits and allow all electronic means of delivering telehealth.
Employers with policies regulated by Arizona should be aware of these developments.
Executive Orders 2020-07, 2020-12, and 2020-15 »
FAQ Regarding the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act
March 31, 2020
On April 7, 2020, the Industrial Commission of Arizona updated its FAQ document concerning the state’s Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act (FWHFA) to show how the FWHFA interacts with the FFCRA. The FWHFA mandates that full-time, part-time and seasonal employees be granted paid sick leave, earning a minimum of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers with fewer than 15 employees must provide at least 24 hours of paid sick leave each year. Businesses with 15 or more employees must provide a minimum of 40 hours yearly.
The FAQ states that FWHFA leave can be used if an employee or a member of the employee’s family is stricken with COVID-19, and that the paid sick leave provided under the FWHFA is in addition to the paid sick leave granted under the FFCRA.
Arizona employers should be aware of these developments.
Mini-COBRA Law Now Applies to Employers with Fewer Employers
May 29, 2019
On May 7, 2019, Gov. Ducey signed SB 1035 into law, creating Chapter 183. The new law relates to Arizona’s mini-COBRA law. Currently, AZ’s mini-COBRA requirement applies to employers with 1-20 employees that offer a fully insured group health insurance plan in AZ. According to Chapter 183, beginning July 27, 2019, AZ employers with 1-19 employees with such fully insured plans will be required to comply with the state’s mini-COBRA law. More information on AZ’s mini-COBRA law can be found in our article here.
Chapter 183 »