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Utah Insurance

Order 2020-3: Amended Order Eliminating Application Process for Issuing a Temporary Resident Individual Producer License

The Utah Insurance Commissioner finds as follows:

1. The Utah Insurance Commissioner entered the Order Establishing Standards for Obtaining and a Process for Issuing a Temporary Resident Individual Producer License dated April 21, 2020.
2. On June 1, 2020, the Utah Insurance Department’s license testing vendor, Prometric, will open its facilities in Utah for the purpose of testing and taking fingerprints of candidates for a Utah two-year resident individual producer license.
3. With the opening of Prometric’s facilities, there is no longer a need for a temporary resident individual producer license in Utah.

Based on the above findings, and pursuant to Utah Code §§ 31A-2-201(4) and 31A-23a-114(5), the Commissioner enters the following Order:

1. Effective June 15, 2020, the Insurance Department will not accept an application for a temporary resident individual producer license.
2. Effective June 1, 2020, the Insurance Department will accept an application for a two-year resident individual producer license. The application shall be submitted electronically using SIRCON or NIPR.
3. An application for a temporary resident individual producer license that is pending on June 15, 2020 will be processed in the ordinary course of business unless withdrawn.
4. A current temporary license is valid for 180 days from date of issuance.
5. A current temporary license will be inactivated if its holder obtains a two-year resident individual producer license before the end of the temporary license period.
6. A temporary license holder is subject to the conditions and requirements of the Order Establishing Standards for Obtaining and a Process for Issuing a Temporary Resident Individual Producer License dated April 21, 2020.

Dated: May 27, 2020

/s/ Todd E. Kiser
Utah Insurance Commissioner

PDF Version
Order of the Commissioner 2020-3: Amended Order Eliminating Application Process for Issuing a Temporary Resident Individual Producer License

Don’t Stimulate Fraud

Economic stimulus payments arriving now from the federal government are an enticing target for scammers. They have many too-good-to-be-true methods for taking your money:

  • Stimulus payment scams — Fake phone calls and phishing schemes try to get your stimulus cash. The IRS won’t phone, text, or email you about your payment and won’t require a fee to get it.
  • Contractor scams — Con artists may try to persuade you to sign over your stimulus payment or charge your insurance for poor home improvement work or damage repair.
  • Fake insurance protections — Scammers are offering low-priced “corona insurance” to cover COVID-19 treatment. Just hang up.
  • Trip cancellation insurance — Standard travel insurance may not cover pandemics. Be wary of offers that cover COVID-19 related trip cancellations.

If you have suspect an insurance scheme, report it safely, easily, and anonymously at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.

Don’t Stimulate Fraud

Health Care’s Limited Coverage Areas

Not all health plans are the same — be sure you know what you’re signing up for

With COVID-19 on the minds of all Utahns, many people are looking at their coverage options. Consumer protection laws govern many types of health coverage, like plans purchased through an employer or through the Health Insurance Marketplace, but other types of plans aren’t required to protect consumers in the same way. Consumers who use health care sharing ministries (HCSMs), discount plans, or medical retainer agreements can best protect themselves by understanding the coverage they participate in.

“Some consumers may find value in these sorts of health care products, but they need to understand that they are not insurance and do not guarantee coverage,” said Todd E. Kiser, Utah Insurance Commissioner. “Consumers who choose these products should make sure they know how they work and what risks they present. Be especially wary of any company advertising membership discounts during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Health Care Sharing Ministries

You may hear about HCSMs when talking to neighbors or searching online. HCSMs are organizations in which the members share the costs of health care and usually have common ethical or religious beliefs. However, before you sign up for an HCSM, there are some things you should know:

  • HCSMs are not insurance and don’t guarantee payment of claims. While they may share funds with members who have health needs, they are not legally required to do so.
  • HCSMs do not have to comply with the consumer protections of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) or state law, like covering treatments for wellness visits and pre-existing conditions, or capping your out-of-pocket costs and imposing lifetime limits.
  • HCSMs may provide value to some people, but they pose a risk to others because they provide limited benefits.
  • The Utah Insurance Department does not regulate or supervise HCSMs.

A member typically contributes a monthly “share” to cover the qualifying medical expenses of other members. The HCSM then administers payments to members, whether by pooling the contributions or by matching a paying member directly with someone who needs help paying for care. Some people look to HCSMs because of their lower up-front costs compared to ACA plans.

Discount Plans

You might receive advertisements from plans offering discounts on health care services for a monthly fee. These are not health insurance plans, and participants do not have the same protections as they do under health insurance plans. Be sure to thoroughly investigate any plan promising deep discounts for a “low” monthly fee and weigh the benefits against the cost carefully.

Medical Retainer Agreements and Concierge Medicine

Medical retainer agreements and some concierge medicine agreements are agreements between a health care provider and an individual patient to provide routine health care services. These agreements are not insurance and do not have the same protections as health insurance. They provide a limited scope of health care services. The Utah Insurance Department does not regulate or supervise these agreements.

The Bottom Line

HCSMs, discount plans, and medical retainer agreements are not health insurance plans, are not as comprehensive as health insurance, and offer limited benefits. Before signing up, be sure to understand how the program works and what benefits you or your family can count on.

For more information about HCSMs, discount plans, and medical retainer agreements, contact the Utah Insurance Department’s Health & Life Division at 801-538-3077 or health.uid@utah.gov.

Press Release
Health Care’s Limited Coverage Areas

Order 2020-1: Order Establishing Standards for Obtaining and a Process for Issuing a Temporary Resident Individual Producer License

The Utah Insurance Commissioner finds as follows:

1. Due to social distancing restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Utah Insurance Department’s license testing vendor, Prometric, has temporarily closed its facilities in Utah.
2. As a result of the closure, a person who seeks a resident individual producer license is unable to apply.
3. Consistent with Utah Code § 31A-23a-114(1)(a)(ii)(A), the public interest will best be served by providing standards for obtaining and a process for issuing a temporary resident individual producer license.
4. Consistent with Utah Code § 31A-23a-114(5)(a)(i), the limitations on the authority of a temporary licensee as set forth in the Order below are necessary to protect insureds and the public.

Based on the above findings, and pursuant to Utah Code §§ 31A-2-201(4) and 31A-23a-114(5), the Commissioner enters the following Order:

1. The Insurance Department may issue a temporary resident individual producer license to a person who satisfies the requirements of this Order. A holder of a temporary resident license is not eligible for a non-resident license in another state.
2. Beginning April 23, 2020, a license application will be available through and shall be submitted electronically using SIRCON.
3. An applicant shall submit the following as an attachment to the license application using SIRCON’s attachment utility feature:
A. proof that the applicant, during the temporary license period, will be affiliated with and sponsored by a licensed insurance company or by a licensed agency producer that is in good standing with the Department and is responsible for the applicant’s acts occurring in the course and scope of the temporary licensure;
B. proof that the applicant will be supervised on the job by a licensed individual producer who is in good standing with the Department and who is affiliated with the sponsoring insurance company or agency;
C. proof that the applicant has successfully completed 40 hours of training in the line(s) of authority for which a license is sought as identified in the Exam Content Outlines of the Utah Insurance Department License Information Bulletin, https://insurance.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/LicensingBulletin.pdf; and
D. proof that the sponsoring insurance company or agency will immediately notify the Department if the applicant’s affiliation or sponsorship ends before the last day of the temporary license period.
4. The requirements of paragraph 3 above can be satisfied by submitting a completed Certification of Compliance with Temporary License Requirements, attached. The Certification is also available on the Department’s website. The Certification must be signed and dated by an owner, partner, officer, or designated responsible licensed producer of the sponsoring insurance company or agency.
5. An application will be denied if the applicant:
A. fails to submit sufficient proof as required in paragraph 3 above;
B. has a felony conviction or a misdemeanor conviction involving fraud, misrepresentation, theft, or dishonesty; or
C. has a pending criminal proceeding in which the applicant is charged with a felony or a misdemeanor involving fraud, misrepresentation, theft, or dishonesty.
7. A license is valid for 180 days from date of issuance. The Commissioner may exercise discretion to shorten this period if the license testing vendor opens its facilities before the temporary license expires. The Commissioner will inactivate a temporary license if the licensee obtains a two-year individual producer license before the end of the temporary license period.
8. A temporary licensee may represent only the following: the sponsoring insurance company and its affiliates; the sponsoring agency and insurance companies to which the agency is appointed.
9. A temporary license may be revoked at any time if the licensee:
A. is not affiliated with and sponsored by the sponsoring insurance company or agency identified in the licensee’s application;
B. is not supervised on the job by a licensed individual producer who is in good standing with the Department and who is affiliated with the sponsoring insurance company or agency identified in the licensee’s application;
C. has a felony conviction or a misdemeanor conviction involving fraud, misrepresentation, theft, or dishonesty; or
D. has a pending criminal proceeding in which the applicant is charged with a felony or a misdemeanor involving fraud, misrepresentation, theft, or dishonesty.
10. The legal grounds for denying, suspending, or revoking a two-year individual producer license, and the legal grounds for penalizing a two-year individual producer licensee, apply equally to a temporary license and licensee.

Dated: April 21, 2020

/s/ Todd E. Kiser
Utah Insurance Commissioner

PDF Version
Order of the Commissioner 2020-1: Order Establishing Standards for Obtaining and a Process for Issuing a Temporary Resident Individual Producer License
Certification of Compliance with Temporary License Requirements

COVID-19 and Workers Comp Fraud

As employers and employees are getting used to new work arrangements, it’s important to consider how they relate to workers compensation insurance.

  1. Remote: Work from home orders are redefining what a work injury may mean.
  2. Quarantine Injury Claims: When workers work from home, what counts as a workplace?
  3. Telemedicine: Telemedicine visits are convenient but may not cover all workplace injury needs.
  4. Be Honest: Employers and insurers need to share information with employees on what is covered and how to report a claim.
  5. Stop the Fraud: Committing fraud ruins careers and lives. Report all suspected insurance fraud to the Fraud Division at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.

COVID-19 and Workers Comp Fraud

Beware of COVID-19 Car Insurance Scams

The Utah Insurance Department’s Fraud Division is cautioning Utah drivers about potential car insurance fraud that may take place during the current health crisis.

Staged Accidents: Scammers set you up for an accident to make an insurance claim. Fewer drivers mean fewer witnesses.

Auto Repair Fraud: Scammers charge excessive fees for disinfecting & cleaning vehicles due to COVID-19. Be suspicious of high fees for cleaning and storage.

Phantom Victims: People not in the car during the accident attempt to file injury claims, hoping for a quick settlement with no investigation. Make sure to exchange ALL relevant information after an accident.

Be vigilant, and contact the Fraud Division if you believe you may have been a victim of insurance fraud.

By phone: (801) 468-0233 or (844) 373-0233
By email: Armand Glick, aglick@utah.gov
Online: https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud

COVID-19 Car Insurance Scams

Utah Insurance Commissioner Strongly Urges Insurers to Expand Coverage for COVID-19, Including Telehealth Services

Insurers should strive to offer Utahns stability and support

Insurance Commissioner Todd E. Kiser is urging all Utah health insurers to expand coverage for COVID-19 including telehealth services.

“In these unprecedented times, I have asked Utah’s health insurers to expand their operations to offer Utahns increased stability and support,” said Kiser. “COVID-19 is a significant concern to many people and offering them some peace of mind will be welcomed by the community.”

In a bulletin sent to health insurers on March 17, Commissioner Kiser requested the following coverage enhancements:

  • Member Support — Health insurers should devote resources to providing members accurate information about their benefits, responding to inquiries, and informing members about telehealth options.
  • Testing for COVID-19 — Lab tests, including tests for COVID-19, are an essential health benefit and must be covered under individual and small group comprehensive health policies. The Insurance Department encourages insurers to waive cost-sharing, co-pays, deductibles, and coinsurance for insureds seeking a medically necessary COVID-19 screening. Insurers are also asked to waive cost-sharing for visits to in-network providers, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, and calls to telehealth outlets.
  • Telehealth Services — Insurers should review their telehealth provider networks to be sure they can meet increased demand as the COVID-19 event continues.
  • Network Adequacy and Access to Services — Health insurers should verify that their provider networks can handle an increase in need for health care services and COVID-19 tests. This may include offering access to out-of-network services where appropriate and required. If a health insurer’s network does not have health care providers with appropriate training and experience to meet the particular needs of insureds at this time, insurers are asked to make exceptions to provide access to out-of-network providers at the in-network cost-sharing.

Commissioner Kiser also requested that insurers waive preauthorization requirements for COVID-19 testing and treatment, offer lenient prescription drug refill practices, and accept the highest in-network reimbursement rate for out-of-network patients to avoid surprise medical bills.

“Some people may have significant worries about the effects that COVID-19 is having on their communities and the world,” said Commissioner Kiser. “Anyone who feels a need to process such feelings should contact their health insurer to see what mental health options are available. In many cases, online mental health visits may be appropriate.”

Press Release
Utah Insurance Commissioner Strongly Urges Insurers to Expand Coverage for COVID-19, Including Telehealth Services
Bulletin 2020-1: Coverage for COVID-192020-1

What to Know About Coronavirus & Your Insurance

For the most up-to-the-minute updates about COVID-19 in Utah, visit coronavirus.utah.gov.

It’s important to know that the immediate risk from the coronavirus is low, but the CDC believes that the public health threat will be significant. Utahns can help the community stay healthy by washing their hands and avoiding people who appear sick — just like they would during any other flu season. If you or someone you know is diagnosed with COVID-19, your insurance company will be able to help.

Below are the actions Utah’s health insurers are taking to assist people affected by the coronavirus.

Bridgespan

Cigna

Cigna is waiving all co-pays and cost-shares for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and telehealth screenings through May 31, 2020. It is also providing free home delivery of up to 90-day supplies of maintenance medications and have set up a 24-hour toll-free help line for consumers who are feeling high stress and anxiety.

CVS Health/Aetna

CVS/Aetna is waiving all cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnosis, testing, and treatment for members. It is also waiving copays for telemedicine visits for any reason for 90 days, waiving charges for prescription home delivery, and allowing 90-day prescriptions of maintenance medicines.

EMI Health

Golden Rule Insurance Company

Humana

Humana is waiving out-of-pocket costs associated with COVID-19 testing for patients who meet CDC guidelines at approved laboratory locations. It is also waiving telemedicine costs for urgent care for the next 90 days and is allowing early refills on prescriptions.

LifeMap

Molina Healthcare

Molina Healthcare is waiving COVID-19 testing costs for members. It is monitoring the coronavirus on a daily basis and working to ensure that it is prepared to assist its members.

MotivHealth

National Foundation Life Insurance Co.

National Health Insurance Co.

PEHP

PEHP is covering COVID-19 testing without preauthorization under the member’s normal benefits. It is also allowing members to acquire 90-day supplies of maintenance medications from retail and mail order pharmacies, and early refills for Diabetes Savings Program members.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah

Regence is covering the cost of a COVID-19 test with no cost to fully insured members if a provider determines the test is necessary. Members who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will be provided personalized support. Medication policies have been loosened (except for opioids) so members can have needed medications on hand.

SelectHealth

SelectHealth is covering in-network COVID-19 testing with no copays, coinsurance, or deductibles. It is also educating members about the proper way to triage their concerns related to COVID-19, including telehealth visits through Connect Care.

UnitedHealthcare

UHC is waiving copays, coinsurance and deductibles for COVID-19 testing at approved locations and for visits associated with COVID-19 testing, including visits to a doctor’s office, urgent care, or emergency room. It is also allowing early prescription refills, expanding access to telehealth options, and offering a 24-hour emotional support help line that is free for anyone to call, not just members.

University of Utah Health Plans

WMI Mutual Insurance Co.

 

Other Resources

Coronavirus rendering courtesy of CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS