April 08, 2020
DFS ISSUES NEW EMERGENCY REGULATION REQUIRING COMMERCIAL HEALTH INSURERS TO DEFER PAYMENT OF PREMIUMS THROUGH JUNE 1ST FOR CONSUMERS & BUSINESSES EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL HARDSHIP DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Emergency Regulation Follows Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.14
Uninsured New Yorkers Should Apply Now for Coverage Through NY State of Health or May Be Eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan or Child Health Plus
The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued a new emergency regulation requiring health plans to defer the payment of insurance premiums due under individual and small group commercial health insurance plans through June 1st, 2020 for consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows Governor Cuomo’s announcement and Executive Order No. 202.14 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.
“We thank Governor Cuomo for his steadfast leadership and guidance during this state of emergency.” said Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell. “Following Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order, DFS is requiring individual and small group commercial health insurance plans to defer premium payments through June 1st for New Yorkers and small businesses unable to pay due to COVID-19, to ensure that they do not lose coverage during this health crisis and have time to transition to alternative coverage if needed.”
DFS requires individual and small group commercial health insurance plans to provide the following relief to consumers and businesses who can demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19:
- Defer payments of commercial health insurance premiums through June 1st, 2020 and continue paying claims during this period;
- Waive late payment fees otherwise due, and not report late payments to credit rating agencies; and
- Work with individuals to help them transition to new coverage, if appropriate.
DFS will consider any liquidity or solvency concerns of the health plans in giving effect to the emergency regulation. Individuals who buy coverage through NY State of Health and receive subsidies will have additional flexibility.
DFS also reminds uninsured New Yorkers that, as a result of a one-month extension of the special enrollment period announced by NY State of Health and DFS, they can apply for coverage through NY State of Health or directly to insurers through May 15, 2020. 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.
This follows the Department's 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 DFS regulatory actions on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.dfs.ny.gov/industry/coronavirus.