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Posts Tagged ‘Department of Insurance’

California Department of Insurance Orders All California Health Insurers to Submit Filing and to Ensure Services to Insureds Displaced by COVID-19

Posted on: March 20th, 2020

By: Kristin Ingulsrud

California Insurance Code section 10112.95(a) provides that insureds displaced by a declared state of emergency shall have access to medically necessary health care services.  In light of Governor Gavin Newsom’s state of emergency proclamation and the continued escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak, California’s Department of Insurance (DOI) issued its “COVID-19 State of Emergency Notification Filing Requirements” on March 18.

Given that the COVID-19 outbreak has the immediate potential to inhibit insureds’ ability to access medical care, all health insurers operating in California must submit a notification describing the insurer’s communication with potentially impacted insureds and summarizing how the insurer will ensure that the health care needs of its insureds are met.

Under the DOI’s order the required notification must address numerous items, including removing barriers to access prescription drugs by home delivery, waiving refill limitations, and other similar measures.

Insurers must also have a plan to maximize the use of telehealth where appropriate.  Insurers must provide a toll-free telephone number to facilitate communication with insureds regarding care options.

Moreover, insurers must also demonstrate their contingency plan to continue operations should its staff be subject to shelter-in-place orders.

The order also requires insurers to detail how they are complying with the Department’s March 5 order concerning waiving co-pays for COVID-19 screening and testing.

The required notification must be filed by close of business Friday, March 20.

The complete order can be found on the Insurance Department’s website at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0250-insurers/0300-insurers/0200-bulletins/bulletin-notices-commiss-opinion/upload/CDI-Emergency-Notification-Filing-Requirements-COVID-19-3-18-2020.pdf.

Additional information: 

The FMG Coronavirus Task Team will be conducting a series of webinars on Coronavirus issues every day for the next week. We will discuss the impact of Coronavirus for companies in general, but also for business in insurance, healthcare, California specific issues, cybersecurity, and tort. Click here to register.

FMG has formed a Coronavirus Task Force to provide up-to-the-minute information, strategic advice, and practical solutions for our clients. Our group is an interdisciplinary team of attorneys who can address the multitude of legal issues arising out of the Coronavirus pandemic, including issues related to Healthcare, Product Liability, Tort Liability, Data Privacy, and Cyber and Local Governments. For more information about the Task Force, click here.

You can also contact your FMG relationship partner or email the team with any questions at [email protected].

**DISCLAIMER: The attorneys at Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP (“FMG”) have been working hard to produce educational content to address issues arising from the concern over COVID-19. The webinars and our written material have produced many questions. Some we have been able to answer, but many we cannot without a specific legal engagement. We can only give legal advice to clients. Please be aware that your attendance at one of our webinars or receipt of our written material does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and FMG. An attorney-client relationship will not exist unless and until an FMG partner expressly and explicitly states IN WRITING that FMG will undertake an attorney-client relationship with you, after ascertaining that the firm does not have any legal conflicts of interest. As a result, you should not transmit any personal or confidential information to FMG unless we have entered into a formal written agreement with you.  We will continue to produce education content for the public, but we must point out that none of our webinars, articles, blog posts, or other similar material constitutes legal advice, does not create an attorney client relationship and you cannot rely on it as such. We hope you will continue to take advantage of the conferences and materials that may pertain to your work or interests.** 

Is Flood Insurance the Next Big Thing in California?

Posted on: April 19th, 2019

By: Matthew Jones

California’s winter has been quite wet given the significant amount of rain. With heavy rain comes flooding and mudslides. California is not used to either of those types of events; but maybe it should be. Recently, the Russian River flood in Sacramento, California has brought problems to residents in the region. Approximately 2,600 homes and businesses were damaged by the floods, as well as some automobiles. However, the flood problems do not stop there. Consumers are also running into insurance issues since traditional homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage.

So what should be done to protect your property from the next flood? The Department of Insurance answered that question by educating consumers on the need to purchase flood insurance. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that flood insurance typically does not take effect for 30 days. Also, there are various exclusions to coverage, including for earthquakes, landslides, land subsidence, sinkholes, destabilization or movement of land from water accumulation, or gradual erosion. So while flood insurance may provide some peace of mind in the event of a flood, potential property damage may not be covered in full.

Given the Department of Insurance’s press releases on the topic, as well as the constant and unpredictable climate change, it is likely that the amount of flood insurance policies issued will only increase.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Matthew Jones at [email protected].