Skip to Content

Compliance Corner

State Updates

Extension of Emergency Orders on COVID-19 Testing and Surprise Billing

July 20, 2021

On July 9, 2021, Commissioner Kreidler issued orders further extending emergency orders 20-01 and 20-06. Emergency Order 20-01, which has been extended through August 8, 2021, requires health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for COVID-19 testing. The order also requires insurers to allow a one-time early refill for prescription drugs.

Emergency Order 20-06, which has also been extended through August 8, 2021, protects consumers from receiving surprise bills for lab fees related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing. The order also encourages insurers to report out-of-network labs that are not publishing or honoring the cash price of COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

These orders apply to insurers but provide employers with information about the continued coverage of COVID-19 testing.

Further Extending Emergency Order 20-01 »
Further Extending Emergency Order 20-06 »

COVID-19 Testing and Telehealth Rules Extended

July 07, 2021

On June 25, 2021, Commissioner Kreidler extended Emergency Order No. 20-02 until July 25, 2021, requiring that COVID-19 testing be provided without cost sharing or preauthorization and that insurers provide increased flexibility regarding the use of telemedicine. 

Employers can notify their plan participants that may still need to receive testing that the testing will continue to be provided without cost sharing and that telemedicine will still be available.

Further Partially Extending Emergency Order 20-02 »

Extension of Emergency Orders on COVID-19 Testing and Surprise Billing

June 22, 2021

On June 11, 2021, Commissioner Kreidler issued orders further extending emergency orders 20-01 and 20-06. Emergency Order 20-01, which has been extended through July 11, 2021, requires health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for COVID-19 testing. The order also requires insurers to allow a one-time early refill for prescription drugs.

Emergency Order 20-06, which has also been extended through July 11, 2021, protects consumers from receiving surprise bills for lab fees related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing. The order also encourages insurers to report out-of-network labs that are not publishing or honoring the cash price of COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

These orders apply to insurers, but provide employers with information about the continued coverage of COVID-19 testing.

Further Extending Emergency Order 20-01 »
Further Extending Emergency Order 20-06 »

Washington Cares Fund Premiums Begin Soon

June 08, 2021

Back in 2019, Gov. Inslee signed the Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Act into law, creating the Washington Cares Fund to address the future long-term care crisis. The fund will be paid for by Washington employees, who will be able to access state-funded long-term care beginning in 2025.

To be eligible for the long-term benefits, Washington residents must be at least 18 years old and need assistance with at least three activities of daily living. Eligible Washingtonians will be able to use the benefit for a range of services, such as:

  • Professional personal care in their home, an assisted living facility, an adult family home or a nursing home
  • Adaptive equipment and technology like hearing devices and medication reminder devices
  • Home safety evaluations
  • Training and support for paid and unpaid family members who provide care
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Care transition coordination
  • Memory care
  • Environmental modifications like wheelchair ramps
  • Personal emergency response system
  • Respite for family caregivers
  • Transportation
  • Dementia supports
  • Education and consultation

Beginning in January 2022, Washington workers will pay up to $0.58 per $100 of earnings out of their paychecks. Employers will remit the employees’ contributions to the state, but they do not have to contribute to the fund. Self-employed individuals may also opt-into the program. Employees may apply for an exemption from the program if they have private long-term care insurance in place before November 1, 2021. Exemption applications will be available between October 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021.

Employers with Washington employees will need to begin to collect premiums from their employees on January 1, 2022. They will also need to collect copies of approval letters for any employees who will apply for an exemption from the program. Employers should work with their payroll provider and other HR vendors in implementing this law.

Washington Cares Fund Home Page »
Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Program, Chapter 50B.04 »

COVID-19 Testing and Telehealth Rules Extended

June 08, 2021

On May 28, 2021, Commissioner Kreidler extended Emergency Order No. 20-02 until June 27, 2021, requiring that COVID-19 testing be provided without cost sharing or preauthorization requirements and that insurers provide increased flexibility regarding the use of telemedicine. 

Employers can notify their plan participants who need testing that it will still be provided without cost sharing and that telemedicine will still be available.

Further Partially Extending Emergency Order 20-02 »

Extension of Emergency Orders on COVID-19 Testing and Surprise Billing

May 25, 2021

On May 14, 2021, Commissioner Kreidler issued orders further extending Emergency Orders 20-01 and 20-06. Emergency Order 20-01, which has been extended through June 13, 2021, requires health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for COVID-19 testing. The order also requires insurers to allow a one-time early refill for prescription drugs.

Emergency Order 20-06, which has also been extended through June 13, 2021, protects consumers from receiving surprise bills for lab fees related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing. The order also encourages insurers to report out-of-network labs that are not publishing or honoring the cash price of COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

These orders apply to insurers, but provide employers with information about the continued coverage of COVID-19 testing.

Further Extending Emergency Order 20-01 »
Further Extending Emergency Order 20-06 »

Insurance Protections for Transgender People

May 25, 2021

On May 12, 2021, Gov. Inslee signed SB 5313 into law, prohibiting health insurers from discriminating against policyholders by denying medical necessary treatment, regardless of their gender expression or identity. The new law comes alongside the Biden administration’s decision to enforce ACA Section 1557 in accordance with the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision.

The new law indicates that individual and small group health insurance plans (including plans on the state exchange) issued on or after January 1, 2022, cannot:

  • Deny or limit coverage for gender-affirming treatment when it is medically necessary and prescribed by a medical professional
  • Apply categorical cosmetic or blanket exclusions to gender-affirming treatment

Although this law applies to insurers, employers should familiarize themselves with it as it will apply to any plan participants enrolled on plans to which the law applies.

SB 5313 »

COVID-19 Testing and Telehealth Rules Extended

May 25, 2021

On April 30, 2021, Commissioner Kreidler extended Emergency Order No. 20-02 until May 30, 2021, requiring that COVID-19 testing be provided without cost sharing or preauthorization and that insurers provide increased flexibility regarding the use of telemedicine.

Employers can notify their plan participants that may still need to receive testing that the testing will continue to be provided without cost-sharing and that telemedicine will still be available.

Further Partially Extending Emergency Order 20-02 »

Extension of Emergency Orders on COVID-19 Testing and Surprise Billing

April 27, 2021

On April 16, 2021, Gov. Kreidler issued orders further extending emergency orders 20-01 and 20-06. Emergency Order 20-01, which has been extended through May 16, 2021, requires health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for COVID-19 testing. The order also requires insurers to allow a one-time early refill for prescription drugs.

Emergency Order 20-06, which has also been extended through May 16, 2021, protects consumers from receiving surprise bills for lab fees related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing. The order also encourages insurers to report out-of-network labs that are not publishing or honoring the cash price of COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

These orders apply to insurers but provide employers with information about the continued coverage of COVID-19 testing.

Further Extending Emergency Order 20-01 »
Further Extending Emergency Order 20-06 »

COVID-19 Testing and Telehealth Rules Extended

April 13, 2021

On April 2, 2021, Commissioner Kreidler extended Emergency Order No. 20-02 until May 2, 2021, requiring that COVID-19 testing be provided without cost sharing or preauthorization and that insurers provide increased flexibility regarding the use of telemedicine.

Employers can notify their plan participants that may still need to receive testing that the testing will continue to be provided without cost sharing and that telemedicine will still be available.

Further Partially Extending Emergency Order 20-02 »


Page 1
Back to top