Insurance companies challenge retroactive portion of COVID testing bill

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An association of insurance companies has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to strike down a provision of Senate Bill 510 that requires health plans and health insurers to pay for on-site COVID-19 testing. retroactive to March 4, 2020, when the state of emergency was declared. because of the coronavirus.

The petition was filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court by the California Association of Life and Health Insurance Companies against Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Attorney General Rob Bonta. ACLHIC is a trade association representing six full-service insurers that provide health care coverage to approximately two million Californians through individual and group markets.

A representative from the state Insurance Department released a statement Friday morning in response to the petition.

“While the Department of Insurance is still reviewing the lawsuit and cannot comment on it specifically, testing without cost-sharing with patients is critical to public health during this pandemic,” the statement said.

According to the petition, there is no public health rationale for the bill’s retroactive mandates.

“ACLHIC members will likely suffer significant harm if the ACLHIC claims alleged herein are not addressed promptly,” the petition states.

SB 510, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Oct. 8, takes effect Jan. 1 and requires health plans and health insurers to reimburse in-network and out-of-network providers for COVID-19 testing and related services without no fees – sharing, pre-authorization or other usage management requirements.

SB 510 requires insurers to pay for COVID-19 testing of workers in the workplace, even if they are asymptomatic and have no known exposures. ACLHIC’s petition challenges SB 510’s retroactivity requirement as unconstitutional, but the association does not challenge the requirement to pay for workers’ COVID-19 testing in the workplace when such testing is performed after March 1. January.

Insurance companies challenge retroactive portion of COVID testing bill was last modified: December 24, 2021 through Contributing Editor

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Kristan F. Talley