WASHINGTON

The Washington State Insurance Commissioner emergency orders relative to insurance impacts due to the COVID-19 virus.

Emergency orders affecting health insurance/medical plans
The first two emergency orders (2020-01 & 2020-02) are directed at health plans and short-term medical plans. Highlights of these pair of orders are requirements for ordering coverage of testing without application of deductible or cost sharing obligations by the patient; order for prescription refills, an order to suspend prior authorization request requirements for testing/treatment, order to expand/loosen network, an order to approve telemedicine expansion, and an order allowing a grace period for at least sixty days for premium payments.

Emergency order affecting property & casualty insurance
Washington State Emergency Order 2020-03 is directed at “all regulated entities transacting” property and casualty insurance and requires that there be no cancellations until at least May 9, 2020, for nonpayment of premium. Additional aspects of this order include a required waiver of any late charges, fees, and similar expenses for nonpayment of premium. A technical advisory notice was also issued reminding all involved of strict adherence to claims handling regulations.