4/3/20 - DFS to Take Regulatory Action Requiring Health Insurers to Defer Payment of Premiums

Taken directly from the Press Release issued on April 3, 2020.


DFS to Issue Emergency Regulation Following Governor’s Announcement Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured New Yorkers to Apply for Coverage Through NY State of Health or Directly to Insurers Extended Through May 15, 2020

If You Lost Employer Coverage, You Must Apply Within 60 Days of Losing Coverage; Because of Loss of Income, New Yorkers May Also Be Eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Subsidized Qualified Health Plans or Child Health Plus

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that, through June 1, 2020, consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying premiums under individual and small group commercial health insurance plans. Following the Governor’s announcement, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) will require health plans to defer the payment of insurance premiums due under individual and small group health commercial insurance plans through June 1st for consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through June 1, 2020, individual and small group commercial health insurance plans will be required to continue to pay claims for consumers and businesses who are suffering financial hardship because of the pandemic and cannot pay their premiums. During this period, health plans will not report late payments to credit rating agencies, and will work with individuals to help them transition to new coverage, if appropriate. In addition, health plans are reminded that under existing law they cannot impose late payment fees. DFS will consider any liquidity or solvency concerns of the health plans in giving effect to this directive. Individuals who buy coverage through NY State of Health and receive subsidies will have additional flexibility. Governor Cuomo thanked Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont for his collaboration on this initiative. DFS also worked closely with Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew N. Mais. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, DFS will direct New York State-regulated health insurers to defer the payment of health insurance premium payments through June 1st for New York consumers and businesses facing financial hardship due to COVID-19,” said Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell. “DFS will continue to take action to provide relief to New Yorkers who are suffering financially during this crisis.” The NY State of Health and the New York State Department of Financial Services also announced a one-month extension of the special enrollment period through May 15, 2020 to allow uninsured New Yorkers to apply for coverage through NY State of Health by phone at 855-355-5777, or directly to insurers. If you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing coverage. Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, subsidized Qualified Health Plans or Child Health Plus. Following Governor Cuomo’s announcement, DFS will issue an emergency regulation to suspend commercial health insurance premiums collection through June 1st for individuals and small groups demonstrating financial hardship due to COVID-19. DFS appreciates the continued cooperation of the insurance industry in providing relief to consumers during this crisis, including the health plans’ support of DFS’ recent emergency regulations requiring insurers to waive cost-sharing, including deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance for telehealth visits. Today’s announcement follows DFS’ recent adoption of an emergency regulation mandating deferrals of premium payments for life insurance for 90 days and for property and casualty insurance for 60 days. For additional DFS regulatory actions on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.dfs.ny.gov/industry/coronavirus.

Your professionals at Castellano Korenberg & Co. are always available to assist you through this tough time of trying to make sense of all the new regulations being passed. Stay up to date with the most recent information by visiting castellanokorenberg.comcall us at 516-937-9500, or contact your CK professional for more information.

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