Carson City, NV - March 05, 2020
Today, in coordination with the Nevada Department of Business and Industry’s Division of Insurance (DOI), Governor Steve Sisolak announced the adoption of an emergency regulation to ensure that Nevadans covered by health insurance policies regulated by the DOI are able to obtain medical services and prescriptions related to COVID-19 at their normal costs, despite disruptions caused by the spread of the virus.
“This pre-emptive emergency regulation should give Nevadans confidence to continue taking preventative measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 as well as seeking necessary medical services and prescriptions without fear of higher than normal costs,” said Governor Sisolak. “Protecting Nevadans is my top priority, and adopting this emergency regulation is a critical piece of our broader plan to anticipate and prepare for the potential impacts of COVID-19.”
Specifically, the emergency regulation prohibits a health insurer from imposing an out-of-pocket cost for a provider office, urgent care center, or emergency room visit when the purpose of the visit is testing for COVID-19. Additionally, the regulation prohibits insurers from charging Nevadans for the COVID-19 test itself or an immunization as one becomes available and further requires coverage for off-formulary prescription drugs if a formulary drug is not available for treatment. Lastly, the regulation requires health insurers to provide information on available benefits, options for medical advice and treatment through telehealth, and preventative measures related to COVID-19.
The Governor continues to explore regulatory and other options to ensure that medical costs associated with COVID-19 are not a barrier to receive health care services for any Nevadans.
For more information on COVID-19: http://dpbh.nv.gov/coronavirus/.
The text of the emergency regulation is as follows:
EMERGENCY REGULATION OF THE
COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE
AUTHORITY: §§1-2, NRS 679B.130 and 233B.0613.
A REGULATION relating to insurance; prohibiting cost-sharing for preventive services
relating to COVID-19; requiring health insurers to inform consumers and providers on
matters related to COVID-19; and requiring health insurers to provide coverage for off-formulary prescriptions in certain circumstances.
- For the purpose of collaborating in the worldwide effort to contain COVID-19, and to ensure cost-sharing is not a barrier to testing for COVID-19, as a preventive service, a health insurer:
- Shall not impose an out-of-pocket cost for a provider office, urgent care center, or emergency room visit when the purpose of the visit is to be tested for COVID-19;
- Shall not impose an out-of-pocket cost for COVID-19 testing;
- Shall cover the costs of a COVID-19 immunization as one becomes available.
- A health insurer shall issue guidance to inform its insureds and network providers about available benefits, options for medical advice and treatment through telehealth, and preventive measures related to COVID-19.
- For the purpose of ensuring adequate access to prescription drugs due to shortages caused by supply-chain disruptions, health insurers shall provide coverage for off-formulary prescription drugs if there is not a formulary drug available to treat the insured.
The Commissioner of Insurance has made a finding that an emergency affecting the health and safety of the public exists, and that adoption of the Emergency Regulation is appropriate.
Dated this 5th day of March, 2020.
Barbara D. Richardson
Commissioner of Insurance
I, Governor Steve Sisolak, endorse the Statement of Emergency presented by
Commissioner of Insurance, Barbara D. Richardson.
Dated this 5th day of March, 2020.