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Legislative Updates

Arkansas: UDPATED August 17, 2020 (originally posted July 1, 2020)

Order extended to October 16, 2020

The Arkansas Insurance Department (AID) extended the moratorium on the cancellation and non-renewal of insurance policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new order is outlined in Arkansas Insurance Department Bulletin No. 26-2020.

What You Need to Know:

  • The original order, issued May 11, 2020, called for a 45-day freeze on cancellation and non-renewal of life and health insurance policies for residents of Arkansas who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been terminated, laid off or have experienced a cessation of work due to COVID-19. This time period fell within the extended grace period that Allstate Benefits implemented for all insured.
  • Bulletin 26-2020, published on June 19, 2020, directs that the moratorium will remain in place until the governor rescinds the public health and disaster emergency currently in effect. This may result in a payment deferment period that continues beyond our original extended grace period. The Bulletin requires that affected policyholders request this extension from their insurance carrier.
  • The Bulletin requires that affected policyholders request this extension from their insurance carrier.
  • For more information on this action, visit the Arkansas Insurance Department.



Delaware: August 5, 2020

On August 5, Delaware Governor John Carney issued the fifth extension of the state’s original emergency declaration stemming from the onset of the novel COVID-19 pandemic. Under this extension, the original Declaration and all subsequent orders have been extended another 30 days. This includes the provisions under the 23rd Modification to the State of Emergency Declaration, which, as previously reported, requires insurance companies to offer covered policyholders financially affected by the pandemic repayment plans of at least 90 days for past due premiums between March and July 1, effective July 1. The extension of the Declaration is effective until 12pm noon on September 5.




District of Columbia: June 5, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) recently issued an Order stating that all carriers that offer insurance products must provide accommodations to their policyholders and certificate holders who reside in D.C. during the declared Public Health Emergency. The Order became effective on April 27, 2020 and applies to all insurance policies in effect as of that date.

The accommodations include:

  • No cancellations for non-payment
  • Waiver of late fees
  • Ability to pay the deferred premium over a 12-month period without loss of coverage. The repayment period begins one month after the Public Health Emergency ends.
  • Deferment of cancellations, non-renewals and adverse underwriting actions

What You Need to Know:

  • Allstate Benefits will be notifying all policyholders and certificate holders who reside in D.C. of this information via U.S. mail. Letters are expected to be mailed by June 5, 2020.
  • This new guideline is temporary, although it may be extended further
  • For more information on this action, visit the DISB website.



Hawaii: July 17, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Ige and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Insurance Division issued the following instructions and guidelines for insurers’ responses and accommodations to policyholders:

  • Waiving of fees, penalties, or other charges relating to an insured’s temporary inability to submit premium payments or otherwise respond to an insurer’s inquiries;
  • Extending of grace periods for payment of premiums;
  • Granting of additional time to policyholders to pay premiums before non-renewals or cancellations become effective;
  • Extending of proof of loss submission deadlines to claimants;
  • Allowing of self-auditing and self-reporting in lieu of physical audits to the extent that physical audits are impracticable;
  • Encouraging policyholders to use electronic payment technology on websites, apps, and electronic bank transfers whenever possible to avoid in person payments

What You Need to Know:

  • Allstate Benefits will be notifying accident and health insurance policyholders and certificate holders who reside in New Jersey of this information via U.S. mail. Letters were mailed the week of June 15, 2020.
  • This new guideline is temporary, although it may be extended further.
  • For more information on this action, visit the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance site.



Michigan: May 22, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) recently issued a Bulletin stating that all carriers that offer life, health or disability insurance in Michigan must provide accommodations to their policyholders and certificateholders who reside in Michigan and have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If Michigan residents with life, health or disability insurance policies or certificates are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, they:

  • May defer paying insurance premiums if they have experienced a hardship due to COVID-19
  • Will not incur late fees, or be reported to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency due to non-payment

What You Need to Know:

  • Allstate Benefits will be notifying all policyholders and certificate holders who reside in Michigan of this information via U.S. mail. Letters should be received the week of May 25, 2020.
  • This new guideline is temporary, although it may be extended further.
  • For more information on this action, visit the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services website.



New Jersey: April 29, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) recently issued a Bulletin stating that all carriers that offer life insurance in New Jersey must provide accomodations to their life insurance policyholders & certificateholders who reside in New Jersey who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If New Jersey residents with life insurance policies or certificates are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, they:

  • May defer paying life insurance premiums for 90 days
  • Are permitted to pay the deferred premium over a 12-month period without loss of coverage
  • Will not incur late fees, or be reported to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency due to non-payment

What You Need to Know:

  • Allstate Benefits will be notifying life insurance policyholders & certificateholders who reside in New Jersey of this information via U.S. mail. Letters are expected to be mailed by Friday, May 1, 2020.
  • This new guideline is temporary, although it may be extended further.
  • For more information on this action, visit the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance site.



New Jersey: June 19, 2020

The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) recently issued a Bulletin about accommodations for accident and health insurance policyholders and certificate holders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous DOBI Bulletins offered similar accommodations to life insurance policyholders and certificate holders.

If New Jersey residents with accident and/or health insurance policies or certificates are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, they:

  • May defer paying life insurance premiums for 60 days
  • Are permitted to pay the deferred premium over a 6-month period without loss of coverage
  • Will not incur late fees, have coverage cancelled for non-payment, or be reported to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency due to non-payment

What You Need to Know:

  • Allstate Benefits will be notifying accident and health insurance policyholders and certificate holders who reside in New Jersey of this information via U.S. mail. Letters were mailed the week of June 15, 2020.
  • This new guideline is temporary, although it may be extended further.
  • For more information on this action, visit the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance site.



New York: UDPATED June 28th, 2020 (originally posted April 16, 2020)

Order extended to July 6th, 2020.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo and the New York Department of Finance (DFS) recently revised the guidelines for collecting premiums on life insurance products offered in New York. All carriers that offer life insurance in New York must now notify their insureds of the following:

If they are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, they:

  • May defer paying life insurance premiums for 90 days
  • Are permitted to pay the deferred premium over a 12-month period without loss of coverage
  • Will not incur late fees, or be reported to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency due to non-payment

The deferment is also available to insureds who received a nonpayment cancellation notice prior to March 29, 2020 and were affected by COVID-19 in 2020.

What You Need to Know:

  • Allstate Benefits will be notifying Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York (ALNY)life insurance policyholders of this information via U.S. mail. Letters are expected to be mailed by April 17, 2020.
  • This new guideline is temporary, although it may be extended further.
  • For more information on this action, visit the New York State DFS Industry Guidance site.



Oregon: August 21, 2020

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services’ Division of Financial Regulation extended its emergency orders for long-term care, life and disability, and its order for nontraditional lines of insurance. The orders mean that insurance policies, such as term and whole life, long-term care, and accidental death provide one-time minimum grace periods for people to pay premiums and protect people by mandating how long claims must be paid. See this chart for details. These orders will be extended until Sept. 20, 2020.

The emergency order extensions can be found on the division's COVID-19 regulated businesses page. Consumers can visit the division's < a href="https://dfr.oregon.gov/covid19-consumers/Pages/covid19-consumers.aspx" target="_blank" alt="COVID-19 consumer page">COVID-19 consumer page for more information about the emergency orders and additional insurance and financial services topics.




Pennsylvania: May 22, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department issued a Notice (PA 2020-03) stating that all health insurers and producers must clearly present the coverage details and limitations of coverage of the policies they are selling to consumers who are Pennsylvania residents. The information must be in “communications to consumers prior to and at the point of sale by insurers, producers, or affiliates.” A subsequent Notice (PA 2020-09) clarified that accident, cancer, critical illness and hospital indemnity insurance products are subject to the requirements of these Bulletins.

If you would like to read the original Notices, they are available on the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website at Regulation > Laws & Regulations > Department Notices.

We created a document for Pennsylvania residents to fulfill the requirements of the Bulletins. All insurance sales representatives offering Allstate Benefits accident, critical illness, cancer or hospital indemnity products to Pennsylvania residents must present a copy of the document to potential consumers prior to the sale and at the point of sale until further notice.

The document addresses the major points outlined in the Bulletin, namely that:

  • Coverage is not being made available pursuant to a Special Enrollment Period or other special enrollment opportunity.
  • Coverage is not comprehensive major medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act and is not eligible for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions.
  • Coverage may have COVID-19 related benefits, including benefits for certain tests, physician visits, hospitalization, ambulance and disability. All benefits, with the exception of disability, pay a specified amount per day, regardless of any other medical coverage.
  • Coverage is not Medical Assistance (Medicaid) or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage.
  • The impact of COVID-19 testing on treatment will not have any impact on the renewability of coverage.



South Carolina: July 11, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Insurance recently extended a State of Emergency that was set to expire on July 11, 2020 an additional 15 days. Executive Order 2020-44 is similar to prior versions and will remain in effect for fifteen (15) days starting July 11, 2020. The Department of Insurance's Directive of March 24 which, among other things, requires insurers to provide relief to insureds including the extension of premium payment deadlines.