Most of the Bulletins concern administration and issues involving COVID-19
In a flurry of activity before the end of 2020, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance issued four new Bulletins relating to various issues of administration in relation to the COVID-19 health crisis. Bulletin 2020-33 is featured first as it involves the Property & Casualty industry with respect to Workers’ Compensation Insurance requirements for certain businesses during the pandemic. Following that, there are brief summaries of each of the other recently issued Bulletins along with links to read the official Bulletins.
Bulletin 2020-33 Flexibility in the Issuance and Administration of Liquor Liability and Workers’ Compensation Insurance during the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis
This Bulletin addresses the restrictions that have been placed with regards to the service and sale of alcohol during the pandemic with respect to M.G.L. c. 138, §12 and outlined in the Governor’s Emergency Order entitled “Order Requiring Early Closing for Certain Businesses and Activities, Limiting Hours for Alcohol and Adult Use Cannabis Sales, and Modifying Chapter 138 License Renewal Requirements (COVID-19 Order No. 53)”.
The Bulletin goes on to state the following in part:
“Within COVID-19 Order No. 53, it is noted that for those Liquor Licensees that have remained closed, they will not be required to submit proof of having liquor liability coverage nor of workers’ compensation coverage as a condition to renew their license under M.G.L. c. 138, §12. However, whenever the Liquor Licensees decide to re-open, they will be required to submit appropriate proof to the appropriate licensing authority of both a liquor liability and workers’ compensation policy.
It is further noted in COVID-19 Order No. 53 that “no insurer, broker, agent, or their representative shall impose or collect any surcharge penalty, fee or other charge in addition to the premium” for any liquor liability or workers’ compensation coverage obtained pursuant to the allowances outlined in COVID-19 Order No. 53. Agent commissions applied as part of the usual and reasonable course of business constitute a component of the premium and thus do not fall within the category of fees or other charges that are impermissible under COVID-19 Order No. 53. Any violations of COVID19 Order No. 53 will be subject to review by the Division’s Special Investigations Unit.”
For those interested in reading Bulletin 2020-33 in full, it can be accessed via this link.
Bulletin 2020-30 & Bulletin 2020-31: Continued Flexibility in the Administration of Insurance during the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis; Issued 12/29/2020; Bulletin 2020-31; Continued Efforts to Restrict the Spread of COVID-19; Issued 12/29/2020
These two Bulletins together outline the Division’s expectations for Carriers with respect to maintaining and preserving the Massachusetts insurance market during the pandemic. In particular it urges carriers to help the Division and to continue “…to search for flexibility to maintain coverage.” In particular, the DOI notes that carriers should “take all necessary steps to enable their covered members to obtain testing, treatment, and vaccines to help fight the spread of this disease” as well as to help ease the administrative processes allowing for hospitals to devote the appropriate resources needed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic as outlined in Bulletin 2020-21 until March 31, 2021.
The Bulletin also outlines other prior Bulletins issued earlier in 2020 with respect to this issue and asks health carriers for “continued flexibility in Health Carrier Administrative Processes.
Bulletin 2020-32; Bulletin 2020-32; Addressing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Vaccines; Issued 12/29/2020
This Bulletin advises health insurance carriers with respect to administrating the COVID-19 vaccine and how they inspect carriers to help inform the public about the options available to all covered persons. The Bulletin also includes a listing of six bullet points outlining areas or processes that the Division expects carriers to ‘relax” or to reimburse in order to help implement the COVID-19 vaccine.
For those interested in reading Bulletin 2020-32 in full, it can be accessed via this link.