Insurance Regulatory Suspension

On April 7, 2020, the Department of Insurance made an announcement in relation to the state’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The statement focuses upon the suspension of regulatory statutes, agency orders and rules determined to impede the state’s emergency efforts.

As background, on March 11, 2020, Gov. Hutchinson declared a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 crisis. On March 17, 2020, in Executive Order 20-06, the governor ordered state agencies to identify on their websites any provisions of regulatory statutes, agency orders or rules that prevented or delayed their ability to assist residents during the COVID-19 crisis.

As a result, the insurance commissioner identified certain insurance provisions that hindered COVID-19 mitigation efforts including those related to the Prior Authorization Transparency Act (Ark. Code Ann. § 23-99-1101 et seq.) Accordingly, for cases involving COVID-19 patients, the prior authorization requirements for non-urgent, urgent and emergency services found in Ark. Code Ann. §§ 1105, 1106, and 1107, are suspended. Additionally, for COVID-19 cases, § 8 of AID Rule 115 regarding utilization reviews and rescissions of prior authorizations is similarly suspended. The suspensions are currently in effect for 30 days from the issuance of Executive Order 20-06 (therefore beginning on March 17, 2020, and expiring on April 17, 2020).

Although the memo is directed at insurers, employers may want be aware of these developments.

Public Health Emergency Regulatory Suspensions Pursuant to Executive Order 20-06 »