On May 5, 2020

Insurers required to cover Covid-19 costs

If you have had a loss of income, you could qualify for more health care subsidies

On Wednesday, April 15, Governor Phil Scott and the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) announced an emergency regulation requiring commercial insurers to waive cost-sharing requirements, such as co-payments, coinsurance or deductible requirements, for the diagnosis and treatment of Covid-19. The emergency regulation is retroactive to March 13, 2020, the date that Governor Scott declared a State of Emergency.

“During this unprecedented emergency, Vermonters deserve access to the care they need to stay safe and healthy,” said Governor Scott. “As we work to expand testing to more Vermonters with symptoms of Covid-19, it is critical that our efforts to help control the spread of the virus are not affected by insurance costs.”

The emergency regulation applies to fully funded health insurance plans such as plans sold on the exchange or to large group employers. Consistent with existing DFR rules, insurers will be required to cover out-of-network services for members if in-network providers are unavailable.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has evolved quickly and is impacting the economic lives of so many Vermonters,” said DFR Commissioner Michael Pieciak “Accordingly, we have been working closely with our health insurers to eliminate financial barriers to testing and treatment of the disease.”

The emergency regulation follows a series of steps taken by DFR to ensure Vermonters can receive the care they need during the Covid-19 outbreak:

March 6, 2020: DFR issued an emergency bulletin requiring insurers to cover the cost of Covid-19 testing.

March 20, 2020: DFR issued guidance to insurers to provide additional grace periods to Vermonters who are struggling to pay their health insurance premiums.

March 30, 2020: DFR issued an emergency regulation to expand the coverage of telehealth and audio-only medical visits.

Anyone with questions or problems with a health insurer providing coverage,call  800-964-1784.

You may qualify for
more subsidies

If you have experienced a loss of income, such as decreased work or being laid off due to the pandemic, you may now qualify for additional subsidies through Vermont Health Connect, the state’s insurance exchange marketplace.

Loss of income is a qualifying “change of circumstance” that allows Vermonters to change their enrollment outside of the annual open enrollment period.  Please visit the Eligibility and Out-of-Pocket Expenses section at: healthconnect.vermont.gov.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Covid levels remain ‘low’ as the state stops reporting PCR testing data

March 8, 2023
By Kate O’Farrell/VTDigger Vermont’s Covid-19 community levels remained “low” this past week, the state Dept. of Health reported Wednesday, March 1, rounding out the month of February with consistently low community levels.  The number of cases, hospital admissions and people in Vermont hospitals for Covid have remained relatively flat in recent weeks as XBB became the dominant strain…

End to national Covid-19 emergency order could affect Vermont’s ability to fight disease

February 8, 2023
By Erin Petenko/VTDigger On Monday, Jan. 30, President Joe Biden announced that the federal government plans to end the emergency declarations for Covid-19 on May 11, a move that could affect Vermonters’ ability to access vaccinations, testing and treatment for the disease. The national emergency and public health emergency declarations related to Covid have been in…

Covid-19 levels rise to ‘medium’ as XBB becomes main strain

January 11, 2023
Covid-19 community levels rose to “medium” last week, the Vermont Department of Health reported. The rising number of hospital admissions was mainly responsible for the state moving from “low” to “medium,” according to the department. It reported 67 new hospital admissions for Covid in the past week, compared with 33 the week before.  As of Wednesday, Jan. 4,…

Vermont’s Covid levels remain ‘low’ as new wave begins nationwide

December 14, 2022
By Erin Petenko/VTDigger Vermont’s Covid-19 levels are still “low,” according to the state Department of Health’s weekly surveillance report, Dec. 7. The weekly update comes amid a national rise in Covid cases and hospitalizations, according to The New York Times. Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York have all reported a rise in Covid levels, particularly in…