October 25, 2022
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Three emergency orders issued by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler regarding insurance coverage and COVID-19 expire Oct. 31. receiving surprise bills for lab fees for medically necessary diagnostic tests and forcing insurers to cover COVID-19 vaccine counseling all expire when Washington State’s state of emergency ends .
Kreidler’s order waiving cost sharing applied to all state-regulated health insurance plans and short-term, time-limited medical plans. The surprise billing order applied to both in-state and out-of-state labs when a vendor orders diagnostic tests for COVID-19. In addition, insurers had to:
- Allow a one-time early refill for prescription drugs.
- Suspend any prior authorization requirements for treatment or testing for COVID-19.
Additionally, if an insurer did not have enough medical providers in its network to provide testing or treatment for COVID-19, it should allow enrollees to be treated by another provider within a reasonable distance at no additional cost. .
“I issued these orders to provide guidance to insurers and reassure the public that we would take all necessary steps to protect them,” Kreidler said.
Kreidler issued the first order on March 3, 2020 as the need for flexibility and additional protections for consumers became apparent.