Governor Polis Declares State of Emergency; Division of Insurance Directs Insurers on COVID-19 Coverage

This morning, Governor Polis declared an official state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak. The declaration allows the state to request more federal resources, such as testing kits, as well as to make state-level orders to reduce spread (e.g., lifting the requirement for people 64 and older to go the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew their driver’s license).

As of this morning, there are 15 presumptive positive cases in the state. Starting tomorrow, CDPHE will offer a drive-up lab for testing at 8100 E. Lowry Blvd. in Denver. Individuals must have a provider’s order for the test.

Yesterday, Gov. Polis instructed the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) to issue guidance and direction to Colorado health insurers regarding coverage of COVID-19 claims. Bulletin B-4.104 provides direction for insurers, as well as consumers, for health insurance plans that are regulated by the Colorado DOI (does not include self-funded employer-based health insurance plans that are regulated at the federal level).

The DOI is requiring insurance companies to take the following actions:

  • Conduct outreach and education to remind their members about these telehealth options and to provide COVID-19-related telehealth services with no cost-sharing, including co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance that would normally apply to the telehealth visit.
  • Cover an additional one-time early refill of any necessary prescriptions to ensure people have their necessary medications should they want to limit their close contact with others.

Ensure that COVID-19 testing be covered without cost-sharing for consumers, meaning they will not have to pay co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. In addition, the insurance companies will be directed to waive any cost-sharing for an in-network health care provider office visit, an in-network urgent care center visit or an emergency room visit when a covered person is seeking testing for COVID-19. If an in-network health care provider cannot do such testing, the insurance company must cover an out-of-network provider for the testing.