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ALDOI issues COVID-19 guidance to health insurance carriers

Contact: Jennifer Bowen

(334) 269-3550

3/13/2020

The Alabama Department of Insurance has issued guidance to health insurance carriers responding to the COVID-19 virus.

The department’s top priority is to protect the health of Alabamians and the solvency of insurers as we respond to this public health challenge. Key among the guidance is removing barriers to testing and treatment.

The department requests that health insurance carriers waive any cost-sharing for COVID-19 lab tests so that cost does not hinder Alabamians from receiving this important testing. Carriers are also asked to waive cost-sharing for in-network provider office visits and urgent care center visits, as well as for emergency room visits when testing for coronavirus.

If an insurance carrier doesn’t have an in-network provider with appropriate training and experience to meet the needs of someone needing treatment, the department requests that carriers provide an out-of-network option at the cost available for those in network.

The department asks that insurance carriers review their telehealth programs to ensure they’re equipped to meet demand amid any increased need for services.

The department also requests that insurers immediately cover the cost of a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost-sharing for covered members once the vaccine is developed and available to the public.

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