COVID-19 Insurance and CMS Updates

The information below was taken from our email updates over the past two months that includes information from the Arkansas Department of Insurance, various insurance carriers, and CMS.  We strive to provide accurate and timely information as this situation rapidly changes.

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5\12 – Arkansas Insurance Department Issues 45-Day Moratorium Against Policy Cancellations

The Arkansas Insurance Department has issued a statement granting a 45-day moratorium against cancellation of insurance policies for those diagnosed with COVID-19 or those experiencing a work disruption due to the virus. However, this is not an automatic extension. Affected policy holders must request this extension from their insurance carriers.

Read the entire statement here.


5\7 – HHS Extends Deadline for Attestation, Acceptance of Terms and Conditions for Provider Relief Fund Payments to 45 Days

The Department of Health and Human Services has extended the deadline for healthcare providers to attest to receipt of payments from the Provider Relief Fund and accept the Terms and Conditions. Providers will now have 45 days, increased from 30 days, from the date they receive a payment to attest and accept the Terms and Conditions or return the funds. As an example, the initial 30-day deadline for providers who received payment on April 10, 2020, is extended to May 24 from May 9, 2020. With the extension, not returning the payment within 45 days of receipt of payment will be viewed as acceptance of the Terms and Conditions.  Visit hhs.gov/providerrelief for more information on the allocations.


5\7 – CMS Update on Waivers and Flexibilities 

CMS recently released an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) building on the agency’s efforts to give the American healthcare system maximum flexibility to respond to COVID-19. To get a complete list of changes for physicians and other clinicians, read the CMS Clinic Fact Sheet here.


3\28 – Clinician Letter

CMS posted a letter to clinicians that outlines a summary of actions CMS has taken to ensure clinicians have maximum flexibility to reduce unnecessary barriers to providing patient care during the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19. The summary includes information about telehealth and virtual visits, accelerated and advanced payments, and recent waiver information.

CMS recently updated recommendations to postpone non-essential surgeries and other procedures to conserve critical healthcare resources and limit exposure of patients and staff to COVID-19. Developed in collaboration with medical societies and associations, the recommendations outline a tiered approach for state and local officials, clinicians, and delivery systems to consider to prioritize services and care to those who require emergent or urgent attention to save a life, manage severe disease, or avoid further harms from an underlying condition.

CMS announced on 3\28 that they are expanding its accelerated and advance payment program for Medicare-participating health care providers and suppliers to ensure they have the resources needed to combat COVID-19.

Accelerated and advance Medicare payments provide emergency funding and addresses cash flow issues based on historical payments when there is disruption in claims submission and/or claims processing.

An informational fact sheet on the accelerated/advance payment process and how to submit a request can be found here.