Does your small business in New York need time to pay its health insurance premium? The State Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued Emergency Regulation 62 to help consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis. What is emergency regulation 62?
The DFS had previously mandated deferrals of premium payments for life insurance. The adoption of that emergency regulation deferred the premium payments for life insurance for 90 days. Similarly, it deferred payments for property and casualty insurance for 60 days.
How is Regulation 62 Different?
The Emergency Regulation 62, unlike other legislation, applies to individual and small group commercial health insurance plans. Thus, it extends deadlines for insurance premium payments in times of COVID-19. Governor Andrew Cuomo initiated the regulation through his Executive Order 202.14.
The State of New York issued its press release on April 08, 2020. And, it stated that consumers and businesses can receive deferments through June 1, 2020. It also requires commercial health insurers to defer the payments. Finally, the DFS supports the regulation, taking into account liquidity or solvency concerns.
The Regulation aims to help New Yorkers and small businesses to keep coverage during the COVID-19 crisis. It also buys them time to transition to alternative coverage in extreme cases. Additionally, it grants flexibility to those who buy coverage through NY State of Health and receive subsidies.
What is Emergency Regulation 62 and What Does It Require?
Understanding what is emergency regulation 62 means understanding its requirements. The Regulation requires individual and small group commercial health insurance plans to waive late payment fees. In addition, they may not report late payments to credit rating agencies.
It also encourages insurers to work with individuals. So, they must help them transition to new coverage when appropriate.
Applying for Health Coverage
The extension allowed special concessions to New Yorkers applying for coverage too. The DFS urged uninsured New Yorkers to apply immediately. Through the Regulation, both the NY State of Health and insurers offered these benefits through May 15, 2020.
They may apply through the NY State of Health. So, applicants may qualify for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, subsidized Qualified Health Plans, or Child Health Plus. New Yorkers who have lost employer coverage must apply within 60 days of losing their previous coverage.
The Alternatives for Low-Income Individuals
The Medicaid Managed Care health insurance program covers low-income children and adults. Medicaid bases its eligibility on income, family size, citizenship, and immigration status. It also covers blind or disabled people of any age. And, it comes without monthly premiums.
Children who do not qualify for Medicaid may be eligible for Child Health Plus. Nearly all children aged 18 or fewer years old qualify for this health coverage. It does not discriminate based on family income or immigration status.
Finally, subsidized Qualified Health Plans offer health insurance to uninsured workers with income above Medicaid limits. So, employees of small businesses in the state should qualify for one of these plans.
Both the State and HMOs offer the program. The State also requires HMOs to offer the same benefits package. But, HMOs may charge different premiums.
New York residents that qualify for other plans may use the Essential Plan. It covers low- and moderate-income New York State residents too.
While the Essential Plan offers the same essential benefits, it costs less than the other plans. Monthly member premiums vary from $0 to $20, depending on income.
More About What is Emergency Regulation 62
The Coronavirus crisis has triggered the State of NY to take action to defer insurance payments. And, it has done so through a wave of new regulations.
The Emergency Regulation 62 directly affected small business employees. The State designed it to help New Yorkers avoid losing their current insurance. Likewise, employees in the state now have clear options to apply for alternative plans.
To find out more about what is emergency regulation 62, look for basic information on the State of New York website. Of course, only the DFS page offers the official information. One may also read the emergency regulation on the DFS page. Finally, the Department encourages New Yorkers to review its COVID-19 regulatory actions on a special section of its website.