On Thursday, April 16, 2020, the California Department of Managed Health Care (the “Department”) released an all plan letter (the “Letter”) regarding changes to the Department’s General Licensure Regulation (the “Regulation”) in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  The Letter updated the Department’s previous guidance concerning the Regulation that was issued on June 13, 2019.  For further information, see our previous post regarding the Regulation here.  

 Coronavirus, General Licensure

The Department’s June 13th guidance provided for a “phase-in” period, during which entities could seek exemptions from the requirements of the General Licensure Regulation through an expedited exemption request process.  This phase-in period was initially set to last from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.  However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Department has decided to extend this phase-in period to last through December 31, 2020.

This update provides leeway for stakeholders under the purview of the Regulation, that is, any individual or entity that does not already have a Knox-Keene Act license, or is not licensed as an insurer by the California Department of Insurance that accepts global risk under a contract that is entered into, amended, or renewed on or after July 1, 2019.

We will continue to provide updates regarding the Department’s position and guidance as the pandemic continues

This article is not an unequivocal statement of the law, but instead represents our best interpretation of where things currently stand.  This article does not address the potential impacts of the numerous other local, state and federal orders that have been issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but which are not referenced in this article.

Check out Sheppard Mullin’s Coronavirus Insights Portal which now aggregates the firm’s various COVID-19 blog posts on a broad range of topics. Click here to view and subscribe.