Coronavirus(COVID-19) Pandemic Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Use the index below to go directly to a particular section on this page:


License and Registration Renewal

The Mississippi Insurance Department (“MID”) is aware that as a result of Gov. Tate Reeves' state of emergency declaration, companies in this State may be unable to renew their licenses/registrations, pay applicable fees or make required filings pursuant to the Annual Statement Filing requirements in a timely fashion. As a result, the MID is offering the following guidance as it relates to these and other regulatory filing. Please click here to learn more.

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Health Insurance

The Mississippi Insurance Department is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and working with health insurance carriers to ensure access and care for Mississippi residents.

Some of the critical steps taken so far are the following:

  • Consumers with fully-insured individual and group health plans will not be charged co-payments, co-insurance, or deductibles related to COVID-19 laboratory testing administered consistent with guidelines issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Health Insurers are taking actions to ensure consumers have access to their prescription drugs. Consumers requesting an additional supply either due to their own concerns about being out in the public, or at the advice of their Physician, are being given priority approval review by the Health Insurer’s Clinical Team.

The MID has requested health insurance carriers in Mississippi put a contingency plan in place to deal with increased claims, member questions, and other communications. All carriers have complied.

It appears that the major carriers, including Aetna, Ambetter, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi, Molina, and United Healthcare, will waive the cost of medically necessary COVID19 testing when ordered by a licensed, authorized healthcare provider. However, carriers encourage consumers to carefully read your benefit plan or call your carrier to determine what will be covered.

MID has requested specific COVID-19 filing codes from Health Insurance Carriers and as of March 20, 2020 all have complied.

MID continues to monitor how prescription drug access is impacted by COVID-19. Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) is expanding their patient support programs to help unemployed patients in the US who have lost their health insurance due to the COVID19 pandemic. They will be able to immediately access their medicines through one single point of entry and all BMS branded medicines will be free. The program will be in effect for six months. Once the program ends patients currently enrolled can continue on the program until they have insurance. Read the full press release from BMS by clicking here.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), through UnitedHealthcare and Optum, has announced it is taking steps immediately to accelerate payments and other financial support to health care providers in the U.S. to help address the short-term financial pressure caused by the COVID-19 emergency. Read more here.

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Form and Rate Filing Guidance for Dental Plans

Comm. Mike Chaney has issued a bulletin which provides guidance for filers of individual, small group, and stand-alone dental plans (SADP), offered inside and outside of (or both) the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM), that wish to issue or renew plans in Plan Year 2021. Click here to learn more.

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Bulletin on Policy Cancellations

After careful consideration, MID has made the decision not to extend bulletins 2020-3 and 2020-4, which are related to the placement of a 60 day moratorium on policy cancellations/non-renewals for non-payment of premiums. However, we do encourage companies to work with their policyholders on issues related to non-payment of premiums, especially during this COVID-19 crisis.

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Regarding Telemedicine

Commissioner Chaney issued Bulletin 2020-1 regarding the use of telemedicine during the COVID-19 crisis. The Commissioner directed insurance companies to adopt procedures that will encourage policyholders to use telemedicine in an effort to reduce the virus’ spread. Additionally, he called for the suspension of certain limitations applicable to telemedicine services found in Miss.Code Ann. Section 83-9-351(Supp.2019). Comm. Chaney extended Bulletin 2020-1, Insurance Coverage Regarding the Use of Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Crisis, on June 25, 2020. Read the Bulletin by Clicking Here.

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Bulletin on Commercial Policies

With regard to commercial insurance policies rated using auditable exposure bases, including but not limited to payroll, sales, enrollment, attendance, occupancy rates, square footage or any other basis now impacted by the COVID-19 economic downturn, the Commissioner strongly encourages insurance companies to allow, when requested, mid-term audits, self-audits or other adjustments to rating bases thereby reducing the associated premium and more accurately reflecting annual exposure projections.
Read Comm. Chaney's full Bulletin Here. This Bulletin is not intended to waive carriers’ rights or responsibilities to perform a final audit at policy expiration.

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Business Interruption Insurance Coverage & COVID-19

Click here to read Comm. Mike Chaney’s article on Business Interruption Insurance

IMPORTANT: While the Mississippi Insurance Department often helps consumers as an advocate in the claims process, we do not have the authority to require insurers to extend coverage under existing policies the owner may have, especially if there are specific exclusions of Business Interruption coverage.

Businesses generally purchase insurance to protect themselves from potential losses. Business interruption or business income insurance coverage are examples of those types of insurance coverage and are usually offered as a supplement (supplemental Policy) to a business owners property insurance policy to recover financial losses that may result from an interruption or cessation of the business’ operations.

Extra Expense and Civil Authority coverage(s) are additional coverages that may be purchased as a part of business owner’s business interruption or business income coverage.

Extra Expense Coverage

Extra expense coverage is complementary to business interruption insurance coverage. It is designed to compensate the business owner for those necessary extra expenses to operate while the business is being repaired to enable the insured to minimize suspension or interruption of the business’ operations.

Civil Authority Coverage

This coverage is also additional coverage under a business owner policy. It covers situations where the business has not been damaged but has been ordered to shut down by civil authorities.

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus, some business owners may be wondering whether their insurance policies cover losses resulting from a business shut down or other losses related to the Coronavirus. Under the business interruption or business income policy, there likely is no coverage as losses occurring as a result of a virus or bacteria are typically excluded by admitted companies. Non-admitted companies, aka as Surplus lines carriers, may not have the same exclusions in their all peril policies. So here is our advice. Business owners with questions about their coverage should:

  1. 1. Read their policy and contact their agent/broker or insurer directly for assistance.
  2. 2. Consider whether it is in their best interest to file a claim.
  3. 3. Consider financial stimulus options that may be available from both Federal and State governments.
    Visit www.sba.gov for additional information.

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Continuing Education Requirements Extension

Mississippi insurance producers, adjusters and bail bondsmen whose CE compliance periods end in March, April, May, or June 2020, should timely contact the MID requesting an extension for completing CE requirements in order to meet license requirement for renewals. This includes Mississippi nonresident adjuster with Mississippi as the Designated Home State. The MID will work with these licensees to ensure that they are given an appropriate opportunity to meet their CE requirements.

  • To view the 2020-5 Bulletin Click here.
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    Insurance Producer Applicants Exam

    Guidance for Initial Insurance Producer Applicants Unable to Take the State Pre-Licensing Examination - read the bulletin here.

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    Regarding Travel Insurance

    You should carefully read your travel insurance policy to determine if pandemics, such as coronavirus, are covered. You may also call the insurance company to figure out what’s covered under your policy. Every provider offers different insurance options that can vary depending on what you’ve selected. You may also be able to upgrade to a more comprehensive plan. Cancel for any reason policies exist, but are usually much more expensive than the standard travel policy.

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    Property and Casualty Companies Benefits to Consumers

    Property and Casualty Companies writing automobile and home owners insurance have established new policies and discounts to assist consumers affected by COVID-19. Follow This Link to see what individual companies are offering.

    Click here to view Mississippi Auto Insurers COVID-19 Premium Relief

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    Property and Casualty Filing Letters

    To view all Property and Casualty filing letters, Click Here.

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    Uninsurability of Mass Market Business Continuity Risks from Viral Pandemics

    Please find below a paper from the American Property Casualty Insurance Association regarding the Uninsurability of Mass Market Business Continuity Risks from Viral Pandemics Click here to view paper.


    Avoiding COVID-19 Scams

    During this time of social distancing, people spend more time on their phones and computers for work, school, shopping and entertainment. Cyber criminals take advantage of widespread fear, panic and worry. They may use your extra screen time and time at home as an opportunity. Read the full article by clicking here.

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    About COVID-19

    To view the most recent Mississippi COVID-19 Cases Map Click Here.

    The MID recommends that Mississippians find the latest information and health resources at the Mississippi State Department of Health website: www.HealthyMS.com.
    Other resources may be found on the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency website: www.MSema.org

    There are hardship programs in place to help homeowners who have been directly or indirectly affected by the coronavirus and are struggling to make their mortgage payments. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, encourages homeowners adversely impacted by the coronavirus who are having difficulty paying their mortgages to reach out to their mortgage servicers as soon as possible. As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advises, “you can find the number for your mortgage servicer on your monthly mortgage statement or coupon book.”

    FHFA has established a dedicated webpage with relevant updates and resources available here: www.fhfa.gov/coronavirus

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