Letter to Oklahomans:
We're all in this together
April 15, 2020
Very few Oklahomans, if any, have faced a pandemic like COVID-19 in their lifetime. This pandemic has changed our daily routines in an instant and has created a new normal for many for us. Our kids' schools are closed for the remainder of the school year and have transitioned to distance learning. My wife is leading her Bible Study online. Many of us are video calling with family and friends from down the street to across the country. My team of dedicated state employees is working tirelessly, away from the office to do what is best for Oklahoma. We're all getting adjusted to this new normal.
Even though this unprecedented situation presents unique challenges to the insurance industry and all our workplaces, I assure you that the Oklahoma Insurance Department will continue to perform all essential services, answer your questions and work through issues as they develop. The work we’ve done during my first year in office to modernize workflows and reduce paper processes has been a tremendous help in this transition.
We’re working with several state agencies and the insurance industry to help our state combat COVID-19 and minimize potential regulatory burdens as insurers continue to serve policyholders. All bulletins and notices to insurers are posted at oid.ok.gov. Here are some of the actions we’ve taken over the past several weeks:
• Create COVID-19 Insurance Information Page on the OID website.
• Direct health insurers to waive all cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing.
• Direct health insurers to waive all copays for telehealth services and reimburse the providers for the copay.
• Direct health insurers to not use preauthorization requirements as a barrier to access necessary treatment for COVID-19.
• Extend the normal 30-day grace period for non-payment of premiums to 60 days for life and health insurance.
• Extend the normal 30-day grace period for non-payment of premiums to 45 days for property and casualty insurance.
• Immediately cease all pharmacy benefit manager audits of pharmacies.
• Waived customer signature requirement for both pick-up and delivery of prescriptions during emergency.
• Directed pharmacy benefit managers to not restrict a covered person’s ability to select any pharmacy that is in the Administrator’s pharmacy provider network, regardless of whether the network is a preferred provider network.
• 60-day supply may be filled for a 30-day prescription.
• Implemented new temporary licensing process.
• Extend the license renewal and continuing education deadlines for licensees.
• Direct property and casualty insurers to suspend all claims reporting deadlines for the duration of the emergency declaration and extend all policyholder rights or benefits related to deadlines until 90 days after the state of emergency ends.
• Asked medical professional liability insurers to relax state licensure requirements for out-of-state healthcare professionals.
One thing that we can learn from this experience is the need to work together and do our part as Oklahomans. We hear a lot about the Oklahoma Standard, but now we need it more than ever. People across our state are finding creative ways to help each other, take care of our neighbors and support those who have both lost jobs and serving the front lines as a healthcare professional. Together, we will carry on the Oklahoma Standard and “GET READY” for what comes next.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department will continue to monitor developments that impact consumers and act as needed to ensure we can provide services and care to the people of Oklahoma. We’ll update you frequently as new information becomes available and make that information available on the COVID-19 page on our website. Stay safe and healthy. Please let us know how we can help.