In the wake of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ March 22 stay-at-home order, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (DOI) issued its second emergency rule in less than a week. Emergency Rule 37 addresses telemedicine coverage and network adequacy amid the growing public health emergency in Louisiana due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Here is a breakdown of the Rule:
When is the Rule effective?
Rule 37 became effective on March 23 and will continue until April 9, when the current State of issued by Gov. Edwards is set to expire.
To whom and what does the Rule apply?
Emergency Rule 37 applies to:
What does the Rule do?
Emergency Rule 37 expands access to telemedicine services so Louisiana residents can continue receiving necessary care without a visit to a hospital or clinic. In particular, it requires all health insurance issuers in Louisiana to do the following:
Emergency Rule 37 also addresses network adequacy requirements by waiving the geographic accessibility rules of the Louisiana Insurance Code, provided that the insurer maintains adequate access for those same services and complies with all provisions of the rule. However, this waiver is limited and specifically does not apply:
Are there any sanctions or penalties for violating the Rule?
No specific fines or penalties are mentioned in the rule. However, Emergency Rule 37 does state that any health insurance issuer who violates the rule shall be subject to regulatory action by the Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of the Insurance Code.
Where can I read the Rule?
A copy of Emergency Rule 37 can be found on the Louisiana Department of Insurance website. Additionally, other COVID-19 resources can be found on the Louisiana DOI website.
Where can I learn about other Emergency Rules issued by the Louisiana DOI in response to COVID-19?
The Louisiana DOI released Emergency Rule 36 on March 17. The Phelps Health Care team has provided a breakdown of Emergency Rule 36 and what it means for health insurance issuers.
The Phelps Health Care team will continue to monitor Louisiana’s legislative and regulatory responses to COVID-19 and provide periodic updates.