Notice for Individual, Small Group and Student Blanket Comprehensive Health Insurance Policies
A recent Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo, together with recent amendments to the insurance and banking regulations (the “regulations”) issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (“Department”), extend grace periods and give you other rights under certain health insurance policies if you are a policyholder of an individual, small group or student blanket comprehensive health insurance policy and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the novel coronavirus (“COVID‑19”) pandemic. A “small group” means a group of one hundred or fewer employees or members exclusive of spouses and dependents. These grace periods and rights are currently in effect but are temporary, though they may be extended further. Please check the Department’s website at https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/coronavirus for updates.
- A copy of the Executive Order and regulations can be found at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20213-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency and https://www.dfs.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/04/re62_a59_text.pdf
Insurance Payments – Grace Period
If you can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, your insurer must extend to the applicable grace period for the payment of premiums to the later of the expiration of the applicable contractual grace period and 11:59 p.m. on June 1, 2020, for any individual, small group or student blanket comprehensive health insurance policyholder. Your insurer is responsible for the payment of claims during such period and may not retroactively terminate your policy for non-payment of premium. In addition, if you do not make a timely premium payment and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, your insurer may not impose any late fees relating to the premium payment, report you to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency regarding such premium payment and provide information to you regarding alternative policies available from such insurer and provide contact information for the NY State of Health.
How to Demonstrate Financial Hardship
If you are unable to make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may submit to your insurer a statement that you swear or affirm in writing under penalty of perjury that you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which the insurer or premium finance agency, as applicable, shall accept as satisfactory proof. Such statement is not required to be notarized.
If you have any questions regarding your rights under the Executive Order or regulations, please contact your insurer, broker, or premium finance agency.