CARSON CITY – Governor Steve Sisolak, in coordination with the Nevada Department of Business and Industry’s Division of Insurance (DOI), announced this week the adoption of an emergency regulation to ensure that Nevadans covered by health insurance policies regulated by the DOI are able to obtain medical services and prescriptions at normal costs, despite disruptions caused by the spread of the Coronavirus.
“This pre-emptive emergency regulation should give Nevadans confidence to continue taking preventative measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 as well as seeking necessary medical services and prescriptions without fear of higher than normal costs,” Sisolak said. “Protecting Nevadans is my top priority, and adopting this emergency regulation is a critical piece of our broader plan to anticipate and prepare for the potential impacts of COVID-19.”
The regulation prohibits health insurers from imposing an out-of-pocket cost for a provider office, urgent care center, or emergency room visit when the purpose of the visit is testing for COVID-19.
“Consumers can be assured that they can seek medical testing services at no additional cost, should they need to be tested for this virus,” said Insurance Commissioner Barbara Richardson. “They should also be assured to know that there are resources to help them understand how to use their health insurance to do so.”
The regulation also prohibits insurers from charging Nevadans for the COVID-19 test itself or an immunization as one becomes available and further requires coverage for off-formulary prescription drugs if a formulary drug is not available for treatment, the governor said.
The announcement of new cases of the virus in Clark and Washoe counties prompted the governor to urge the public not to panic.
“The State of Nevada and our local health authorities are taking this situation very seriously and have been preparing for weeks in anticipation of a presumptive case,” he said. “I’ve spoken with members of our federal delegation and we will continue coordinating to ensure Nevada’s local health authorities and partners have all the support they need.
“I urge all Nevadans and visitors to remain calm and follow all available guidelines on how to prevent the spread. We must all do our part to prepare and prevent – not panic.”
There are now more than 250 cases of the virus reported in the U.S.
This story was updated to include new information from the Division of Insurance and from a press conference by Sisolak held March 7.