Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

March 6, 2020

Sen. Lesser Sends Letter Urging Insurance Department Commissioner to Issue Bulletin Waiving Deductibles, CoPays and Cost Sharing for COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

HARTFORD, CT – Today, state Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown), who is state Senate Chair of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, sent a letter to Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) Commissioner Andrew Mais urging him to issue a bulletin waiving deductibles, copays and cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment. The CID has been working on this issue and the senator has been in communication with the department.

“Cost absolutely shouldn’t be a barrier to anyone getting tested or treated, where appropriate, for COVID-19,” said Sen. Lesser. “People with high deductibles shouldn’t be discouraged from getting tested if their doctor believes that’s appropriate – and with patients self-quarantining ensuring coverage for telehealth is important too. The Insurance Department can lead on this issue by quickly issuing a bulletin directing insurance companies to take emergency action to lift deductibles, cost sharing and copays for coronavirus testing and treatment.”

Currently, New York, Washington state, and eight major Oregon insurers have waived copays, deductibles and cost sharing. In the letter the senator states, “other states – including New York – have already taken this step to prevent cost sharing from being a barrier to ensuring public health.” Additionally, Sen. Lesser expresses he is looking forward to working with the commissioner and the state’s Insurance Department on this matter and others.

About COVID-19: The (COVID-19) was initially identified in Wuhan, China, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). They say the virus was linked to a live-animal market. Over 2,000 people have died after contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19), with the majority coming from China.

According to the CDC, confirmed (COVID-19) cases reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death with symptoms which include fever, coughing and shortage of breath.The CDC reports it believes symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. COVID-19 is being spread from an individual actively sick with the coronavirus disease 2019 can spread the illness to others, according to the CDC. They recommend COVID-19 patients be isolated either in the hospital or at until they no longer pose a risk of infecting others. They consider an individual no longer a risk to spread COVID-19 if they exhibit all the following:

  • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
  • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

Additionally, the CDC reports corona-viruses are, “a large family of viruses.” They add, “some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline corona-viruses, only infect animals.” They also state, it is not common for animal corona-viruses to infect animals and people while also being spread between people.

About Matt Lesser: Sen. Lesser was first elected in 2018 to represent the ninth Senate District which consists of Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield. Prior to being elected to the State Senate, he was a State Representative for the city of Middletown. He has been a principle author of Connecticut’s Student Loan Bill of Rights, the first in the nation, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing waste and a major workplace safety law later adapted as a national standard. He has been honored by the Connecticut chapter of the AARP and has been named a champion by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.