NYS DFS Policyholder Notice –- Financial Relief

Healthcare Risk AdvisorsHospital Insurance Company

Covid-19 Updates from the Doctors Company

NYS DFS Policyholder Notice - Financial Relief

As our healthcare systems are tested to the limit during COVID-19, we remain focused on serving those who provide the care that is so desperately needed—the heroes who risk their own safety to care for all of us.

Hospitals Insurance Company has already taken several steps to help New York practices impacted by the crisis. For example, we are adjusting premium amounts for physicians suspending their practices and extending premium due dates. And The Doctors Company advocacy team was the force behind Governor Cuomo’s executive order providing immunities for health care providers working within the COVID-19 crisis.

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has directed us to supplement our efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and to notify you about those efforts. In the following notice, the DFS is referred to as “the Department.”

A recent Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo, together with recent amendments to the insurance and banking regulations (the “regulations”) issued by the Department, extend grace periods and give you other rights under certain property/casualty insurance policies if you are an individual or small business and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic (“affected policyholder”). These grace periods and rights are currently in effect but are temporary, though they may be extended further. Please check the Department’s website at https://www.dfs.ny.Fgov/consumers/coronavirus for updates.

These amendments include medical malpractice insurance. A business qualifies as a “small business” if it is resident in New York State, is independently owned and operated, and employs 100 or fewer individuals. If you are a small business and an affected policyholder, please contact us if you are uncertain whether your policy is covered.

A copy of the Executive Order and regulations can be found at
https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20213-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency and
https://www.dfs.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/03/re_consolidated_ amend_pt_405_27a_27c_new_216_text.pdf, respectively.

Moratorium on Cancellation, Non-Renewal, and Conditional Renewal

If you are an affected policyholder, there is a moratorium on us cancelling, non-renewing, or conditionally renewing your property/casualty insurance policy for a period of 60 days. If you do not make a timely premium payment and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may not impose any late fees relating to the premium payment or report you to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency regarding such premium payment.

Catching up on Overdue Insurance Payments

The regulations also require us to permit you, as an affected policyholder, to pay the overdue premium over a 12-month period if you did not make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and can still demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This also applies if we sent you a nonpayment cancellation notice prior to March 29, 2020.

Policies Financed by Premium Finance Agencies – Grace Period

If your insurance policy has been financed through a premium finance agency, and you, as an affected policyholder, do not make an installment payment, the premium finance agency may not cancel your policy for a period of at least 60 days, including any contractual grace period, and subject to the safety and soundness of the premium finance agency. In addition, if you do not make a timely installment payment to the premium finance agency, the premium finance agency must extend the due date for the installment payment by at least 60 days, may not impose any late fees relating to that installment payment, and may not report you to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency regarding that installment payment.

Catching up on Overdue Payments to Premium Finance Agencies

If you, as an affected policyholder, do not make a timely installment payment to the premium finance agency due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the premium finance agency must permit you to pay the installment payment over a 12-month period if you can still demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to the safety and soundness of the premium finance agency. This also applies if the premium finance agency issued a non-payment cancellation notice prior to March 29, 2020.

How to Demonstrate Financial Hardship

If you, as an affected policyholder, are unable to make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may submit to us or your premium finance agency, as applicable, a statement that you swear or affirm in writing under penalty of perjury that you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which we or your premium finance agency, as applicable, must accept as satisfactory proof. Such statement need not be notarized.

Questions

If you have any questions regarding your rights under the Executive Order or regulations, please contact us or your premium finance agency.

You can reach us at 800.982.7101, extension #3. Your practice and commitment to delivering care are our priority. The entire nation is grateful for the medical care you're providing.

Janet Walsh
 
Janet Walsh, RN, MPA, ARM
Vice President
Underwriting & Physician Services