COMMISSIONER'S CORNER

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2022


Q. I’ve heard that Covid-19 testing kits are being sent for free by the federal government. Can I go get one for free through my health insurance?

A. Another timely question! The answer is, for now, indeed you can. Effective January 15, 2022, individuals

who purchase an over-the-counter at-home Covid-19 testing kit during the pandemic are eligible to have

the costs of the kit either directly paid for by their health insurance plan or to obtain reimbursement

from their plan for the cost of the kit.


You are eligible to have the cost of your over-the-counter Covid-19 testing kit paid for by your health

insurance if all of the following are true:


  1. you have an eligible health insurance plan;

  2. you purchased the kit on or after January 15, 2022;

  3. you have purchased 8 or less kits already in the month; and

  4. the kit is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


There is currently no definitive timeframe for when this program will end as it is slated to end alongside

the federal Public Health Emergency. If you are unsure whether you have an eligible health insurance

plan, you should contact your health insurance company. You should also contact your health insurance

company for the specific process they have developed for payment, as some companies will reimburse

you, while others will pay for the kit if you show your insurance card. Note that these rules only apply to

private health insurance companies; Medicare and Medicaid are not currently reimbursing but are

considering doing so in the coming months.


Please also note that your insurer may not require you to obtain prior authorization from a doctor in

order to pay for or reimburse for over-the-counter at-home Covid-19 testing kits. However, your

company may limit their payment or reimbursement to $12 per kit if it has established a pharmacy

network with adequate access under the federal rules.


Jeff Rude, Wyoming Insurance Commissioner

https://sites.google.com/a/wyo.gov/doi/commissioner-s-corner/rude%20jeff%20%282%29.JPG?attredirects=0

Commissioner

Jeffrey P. Rude

COMMISSIONER'S CORNER - PRODUCER QUESTION

Q. Can the Department of Insurance provide an opinion whether an insurer is engaging in rebating or improper promotional or marketing activities?

A. If you are an insurer or producer, you can submit a detailed written proposal to the department for review. Please allow reasonable time for a review to be completed before instituting a program that might be considered a violation of state law.

Below are the applicable Wyoming statutes:

W.S. § 26-13-102 ↗. Unfair methods and deceptive acts prohibited.

No person shall engage in this state in any trade practice which is defined in this article as or is determined pursuant to this article to be an unfair method of competition or an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the business of insurance.

W.S. § 26-13-110 ↗. Rebates and favors as to life, disability and annuity contracts prohibited.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, no person shall:

(i) Knowingly permit or offer to make or make any contract of life insurance, life annuity or disability insurance, or agreement as to that contract other than as expressed in the contract issued thereon;

(ii) Pay, allow or give or offer to pay, allow or give in any manner as inducement to the insurance or annuity:

(A) Any rebate of premiums payable on the contract;

(B) Any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits thereon;

(C) Any paid employment or contract for services of any kind; or

(D) Any valuable consideration or inducement not specified in the contract.

(iii) In any manner give, sell or purchase or offer or agree to give, sell, purchase or allow as inducement to the insurance or annuity or in connection therewith, and whether or not to be specified in the policy or contract, any agreement of any form or nature promising:

(A) Returns and profits;

(B) Any stocks, bonds or other securities, or interest present or contingent therein or as measured thereby, of any insurer or other corporation, association or partnership; or

(C) Any dividends or profits accrued or to accrue thereon.

W.S. § 26-13-112 ↗. Unfair discrimination, rebates and favors prohibited for property, casualty and surety insurers.

(a) No property, casualty or surety insurer or any employee or representative thereof, and no broker or agent shall pay, allow or give, or offer to pay, allow or give, in any manner, as an inducement to insurance, or after insurance has been effected, any valuable consideration or inducement of any kind not specified or provided for in the policy, except to the extent provided for in an applicable filing with the commissioner as provided by law.