The Office of the Insurance Commissioner for Washington State has mandated emergency changes for state health insurers in response to the outbreak of coronavirus, effective immediately until May 4, 2020.

“Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued an emergency order to Washington state health insurers requiring them to waive copays and deductibles for any consumer requiring testing (www.doh.wa.gov) for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Insurers also must: 

  • Allow a one-time early refill for prescription drugs.
  • Suspend any prior authorization requirement for treatment or testing of COVID-19.

In addition, if an insurer does not have enough medical providers in its network to provide testing and treatment for COVID-19, it must allow enrollees to be treated by another provider within a reasonable distance at no additional cost.” 

Read the full notice here.

These regulations apply to all state-regulated health insurance plans and short-term limited duration medical plans in Washington.

The Washington Insurance Division does not regulate self-funded health plans; however, self-funded employers in Washington may choose to implement these plan design changes. Sponsors of self-funded health plans should work with their TPG consultants to coordinate any plan design changes with their TPAs.

Please find Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for more information on planning for and responding to coronavirus.

Register here for our webinar with John W. Robinson, MD, SM, Chief Medical Officer at First Choice Health (Tuesday, March 10 at 10 AM PST).