Insurance Updates Due to COVID-19: Medicaid Coverage for Telemedicine, Grace Periods for Premium Payments and Small Employer Coverage Guidance

Recently, the Department of Health Services and the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) released updates — all of which provided guidance on testing and/or treatment related to COVID-19 and its impact on health and welfare benefit administration. Highlights include:

  • ForwardHealth Update No. 2020-09: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, in an effort to respond to the COVID-19 emergency, will allow Medicaid coverage of telehealth services for all originating sites.
  • Bulletin – March 20, 2020: The OCI provides guidance to insurers regarding regulatory requirements during the COVID-19 public health emergency. As part of the guidance, insurers are urged to provide flexibility (in a non-discriminatory manner) to insureds who are incurring economic hardship (e.g., noncancellation periods, grace period for premium payments).
  • OCI Guidance: The OCI confirms that insurers and employer policyholders may offer coverage to employees working less than 30 hours per week. However, this can only be done if the offer is made to all employees in a non-discriminatory manner. For reference, generally state law requires eligibility as one who works a workweek of 30 or more hours for small employers (between 2-50 employees).

Employers should be aware of these developments.

ForwardHealth Update No. 2020-09 »
Bulletin: March 20, 2020 »
OCI Guidance on Small Employer Coverage »