The New York Department of Financial Services is requiring state-regulated health insurers to waive out-of-pocket costs, including cost-sharing, deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, for in-network mental health services for New York’s frontline essential workers during COVID-19.
“Frontline essential workers continue to do their jobs for the greater good of the people,” said DFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell. “These brave individuals are the backbone of New York during this crisis and today’s DFS regulatory action removes a financial barrier to the care they need.”
Health care workers, first responders, transit workers, food services workers, retail workers at essential businesses, and other frontline essential employees, are required to directly interact with the public while working during this public health emergency, Lacewell noted.
As such, they are exposing themselves and their families to incremental risks, to ensure that essential services continue for the benefit of the people of New York, she added.
During this time of crisis, it is in the public interest for all stakeholders to support these essential workers to ensure they receive the mental health services they need, Lacewell said.
DFS has now issued an emergency regulation to prohibit insurers from imposing cost-sharing for telehealth and in-person mental health services rendered by in-network providers on an outpatient basis to frontline essential workers eligible to be tested at one of the state’s drive through or walk in COVID-19 testing sites.
This follows the previous DFS regulation which prohibited cost sharing for all telehealth services.
For additional DFS regulatory actions on COVID-19 pandemic, go to: www.dfs.ny.gov/industry/coronavirus.