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Insurance Companies Fight Against COVID Testing Bill

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An association of insurance companies challenged Senate Bill 510 because of a clause requiring them to retroactively pay for workplace COVID-19 tests.

The provision requires health plans and health insurers to retroactively pay for all tests after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency because of the pandemic on March 4, 2020. 

The trade organization, the Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies filed the petition against Attorney General Rob Bonta and Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara in Los Angeles Superior Court asking the judge to invalidate the retroactive clause. The ACLHIC represents six full-service insurers who cover about two million Californians' healthcare. They argue that the clause is unconstitutional. 

"There is no public health justification for the retroactive mandates/prohibitions," the petition stated. "ACLHIC members will likely suffer significant damages if ACLHIC's claims alleged herein are not promptly addressed.

SB510 was signed by Newsom on Oct. 8 and will go into effect on Jan. 1. It requires health plans and insurers to reimburse both in-network and out-of-network providers for COVID-19 testing and related services without any cost-sharing, prior authorization or other utilization management requirements. It also requires insurers to pay for workplace testing even if the individuals are asymptomatic and have no known exposure. 

The ACLHIC does not dispute the requirement to pay for tests performed after Jan. 1.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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