1. OCI Clarification on Bulletins
  2. NAMIC Letter to OCI
  3. OCI COVID-19 Information and Resources
  4. NAIC Data Call - Business Interruption 
  5. NAIC - COVID-19 Related Interpretations Adopted by Statutory Accounting Principles (E)
  6. OCI Bulletins
    1. April 22 - Remotely Proctored Exams are Available for Agent Candidates
    2. April 2, 2020, Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure
    3. March 26, 2020, Extension of Transitional Health Insurance Plans Through December 31, 2021
    4. March 26, 2020, Small Employer Coverage
    5. Commissioner Afable: Notice to All Insurers
    6. OCI Update - Electronic Filings
    7. March 23, 2020 - Coverage for Delivery Drivers for Restaurants
    8. March 20, 2020, Complying with Regulatory Requirements During the Public Health Emergency
    9. March 19, 2020 - OCI Issues Temporary Changes for Agent CE Requirements
    10. March 15, 2020 - Regulatory Flexibility Regarding COVID-19
  7. Press Releases
    1. April 22 - Insurance Commissioner Announces Agent Licensing Exams May Be Taken Online
    2. April 9, 2020, Wisconsinites Who Lose Health Insurance During COVID-19 May Be Able to Enroll on HealthCare.gov or in BadgerCare
    3. April 1, 2020, Insurance Commissioner Urges Wisconsinites to Watch Out for COVID-19 Insurance Scams
    4. March 26, 2020, Evers Administration Issues Guidance for Businesses During COVID-19 Emergency
    5. March 26, 2020, Gov. Evers and Insurance Commissioner Urge Insurers to Allow Small Employers to Keep Furloughed Employees on Health Insurance
    6. March 20, 2020, Governor Evers, Insurance Commissioner Afable Ask Insurers to Offer Flexibility to Wisconsinites Facing Economic Hardship during COVID-19

OCI Clarification on Bulletins

OCI issued a number of emergency bulletins to provide guidance for companies for the duration of the Safer at Home order. When the Wisconsin State Supreme Court struck down Governor Evers' extension of the order, it was unclear whether any of the bulletins were still in effect. WAMIC contacted OCI and requested clarification regarding the status of the bulletins. 

The responses we received from OCI are listed below:

Q: Are the bulletins easing regulatory requirements still in effect?

A: OCI views the bulletins asking insurers to be flexible and those offering regulatory flexibility as remaining in effect while COVID-19 remains an issue. Since no one is quite sure how COVID-19 will progress and its unclear when the pandemic will pass, OCI will keep the flexibility in place for insurers. If that were to change, OCI will make sure will communicate that well in advance.

Q: Is the March 23, 2020 - Coverage for Delivery Drivers for Restaurants bulletin still in effect?

A: The delivery driver bulletin expired when the public health emergency was lifted.  To minimize the effect to insureds, OCI is asking insurers give notice to consumers if their delivery coverage will expire and, where possible, transition insureds to paid coverage if they still require such coverage.  Basically, OCI is asking insurers to work with their insured restaurants and drivers to make sure they have the coverage they need.  The bulletin was intended more as an emergency measure to give people time to work on more permanent solutions. 

Q: Is the March 19, 2020 - OCI Issues Temporary Changes for Agent CE Requirements bulletin still in effect?

A: This bulletin will be extended indefinitely and OCI is working on a new bulletin to this effect that should be coming out shortly.

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NAMIC Letter to OCI

NAMIC sent a letter to all U.S. insurance commissioners regarding the NAIC Data Call on Business Interruption. Read more...

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NAIC Data Call - Business Interruption

Insurance regulators in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories have agreed to participate in a data call to collect data related to insurance and COVID-19. The NAIC will be coordinating the data call and facilitating the collection and aggregation. This data will assist state insurance regulators and others in understanding which insurers are writing applicable coverage, the size of the market, the extent of exclusions related to COVID-19, and claims and losses related to COVID-19. This data call will consist of several parts. Each part of the data call is described with deadlines. Read more...

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NAIC - COVID-19 Related Interpretations Adopted by Statutory Accounting Principles (E)

WASHINGTON (April 16, 2020) – The NAIC’s Statutory Accounting Principles (E) Working Group adopted three interpretations related to COVID-19 on April 15. The statutory accounting exceptions allows insurance reporting entities to respond to policyholder needs for premium payment delays and address mortgage loan modification or forbearance requests while mitigating insurance reporting entity concerns on the impact to statutory financial statements. Read more...

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OCI COVID-19 Information and Resources

The COVID-19 public health emergency poses unprecedented challenges to businesses and citizens throughout Wisconsin. OCI has created a resource page for insurers. Read more...

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Bulletins

You can view all the bulletins issued by OCI on their website.

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April 22 - Remotely Proctored Exams are Available for Agent Candidates

Effective Friday, April 17, 2020, the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) made remotely proctored insurance agent licensing exams available using a remote testing application called ProProctorTM by Prometric. Read more...

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April 2, 2020, Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) promulgated a rule on the annual Corporate Governance Disclosure (CGAD), which will be published on April 27, 2020, with an effective date of May 1, 2020. Read more...

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March 26, 2020, Extension of Transitional Health Insurance Plans Through December 31, 2021

On January 31, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a bulletin allowing states to permit insurers to renew transitional policies as long as such policies come into compliance with certain specified market reforms by January 1, 2022.[1]  Specifically, the new guidance on transitional plans extends the use of transitional plans through December 31, 2021. In light of this new federal guidance, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) is issuing this bulletin to allow for the extension of these plans as outlined by CMS. Read more...

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March 26, 2020, Small Employer Coverage

The Office of the Commission of Insurance (OCI) is providing guidance to insurers regarding small employer coverage requirements, and Wisconsin's continuation law during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Read more...

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Commissioner Afable: Notice to All Insurers

Notice to All Insurers

Earlier today, Governor Tony Evers issued the Safer at Home order. Please read the order available here.

The order is effective at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and remains in effect until 8:00 a.m. Friday, April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued.

Wisconsin residents must comply with this order. As outlined in the order, individuals can leave their home to perform tasks essential to maintaining health and safety, to get services and supplies necessary for staying home, and to care for others.

Under the governor’s order, insurance is designated as an essential business. Still, I urge all insurers to follow guidance included in the order and the health and safety guidelines from the Department of Health Services.

As much as possible, I encourage insurers to have employees work remotely and maintain social distancing. I also strongly encourage agents and agencies to work remotely. It is up to each of us to follow the governor’s order to protect our communities and our state.

The OCI is working remotely to protect the safety and wellbeing of our staff. Transitioning to telework has required rapid innovation from our team but we believe that most if not all insurers can also implement similar practices.

We want to thank those insurers who have already transitioned to telework for their employees and those who are assisting our staff by using email and electronic submission for filings and requests.

Please visit the state’s COVID-19 website for more information and links to individual agencies: https://govstatus.egov.com/wi-covid-19.

With appreciation,
Commissioner Mark Afable

Mark V. Afable
Commissioner
Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance

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OCI Update - Electronic Filings

OCI staff is currently working remotely and is asking all insurers to make their filings electronically. All insurers are now required to file electronically with OCI during the current state of emergency. Filings should be sent as follows:

  • Financial Regulation – [email protected]
  • Complaints and Information:
    • Any questions – [email protected]
    • Any responses or updates to complaint files should be done online through CICA where possible.
  • Agent Licensing:
    • Any questions to o[email protected]
    • All other agent licensing processing should continue online through NIPR or Authorized Business Partners.
  • Rates and Forms:
    • Any questions to [email protected]
    • All regular forms or rates should be filed online through SERFF where possible.

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March 23, 2020 - Coverage for Delivery Drivers for Restaurants

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) is providing guidance to insurers and bars and restaurants regarding insurance coverage for delivery drivers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Read the bulletin...

OCI FAQ for Insurers

OCI FAQ for Agents

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March 20, 2020, Complying with Regulatory Requirements During the Public Health Emergency

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) is providing guidance to insurers regarding compliance with regulatory requirements during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Click to read the full bulletin.

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March 19, 2020 - OCI Issues Temporary Changes for Agent CE Requirements

OCI is waiving continuing education requirements for resident licensees that expire on March 31, 2020, for licensees that are unable to complete courses online. Read more...

WAMIC members with internet access may access online agent CE through our partnership with the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) by clicking here.

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March 15, 2020 - Regulatory Flexibility Regarding COVID-19

OCI issued a bulletin on March 15, 2020. The bulletin provides guidance to insurers regarding regulatory compliance during the current public health emergency. You can find the bulletin here

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Press Releases

You can access the full list of press releases issued by OCI here.

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April 22 - Insurance Commissioner Announces Agent Licensing Exams May Be Taken Online

Madison, Wis. — Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable today announced that insurance agent licensing exams can now be taken online using a platform called ProProctorTM from Prometric. The online platform allows individuals to take the agent licensing exam from home during the State's Safer at Home order. Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance originally pursued remote testing software to expand access to agent licensing exams for individuals with limited access to transportation or those individuals with restrictive schedules. The technology is now available to support individuals pursuing a career in insurance during the national public health emergency. Read more...

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April 9, 2020, Wisconsinites Who Lose Health Insurance During COVID-19 May Be Able to Enroll on HealthCare.gov or in BadgerCare

Madison, Wis. – The Evers Administration today issued guidance to Wisconsin workers who have lost their employer-based health insurance. More than 313,000 initial applications and nearly 600,000 weekly claims for unemployment have been filed in Wisconsin since March 15. When an individual loses their health insurance, a 60-day special enrollment period is created. During that 60-day window, Wisconsinites can work with an enrollment assister or an agent to enroll in a new insurance plan through HealthCare.gov, which may be more affordable than using a health insurance extension from their employer under the federal COBRA provision. Some individuals may also be eligible for free coverage through BadgerCare. The Evers Administration is urging residents to call 2-1-1 or visit CoveringWI.org for assistance. Read more...

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April 1, 2020, Commissioner Urges Wisconsinites to Watch Out for COVID-19 Insurance Scams

Madison, Wis. -- Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable today urged Wisconsin consumers to watch out for scammers offering fake COVID-19 insurance products or attempting to steal personal information. Read more...

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March 26, 2020, Evers Administration Issues Guidance for Businesses During COVID-19 Emergency

Madison, Wis. – Today, the Evers administration issued guidance for essential businesses during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The guidance includes information about business interruption insurance from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) and business loans and grants from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Read more...

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March 26, 2020, Gov. Evers and Insurance Commissioner Urge Insurers to Allow Small Employers to Keep Furloughed Employees on Health Insurance

Madison, Wis. – At the direction of Governor Tony Evers, Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable called on Wisconsin health insurers to give small employers the option to keep employees who are furloughed or working fewer than 30 hours per week on employer-sponsored health insurance. Health insurers often have contracts with small employers to only insure employees who are considered “active status," meaning they work 30 or more hours per week. With the COVID-19 public health emergency requiring non-essential businesses to close, many employees working for small employers may be furloughed or work fewer than 30 hours per week. Insurers should allow small employers to continue paying the insurance premium for impacted employees if they can do so during Gov. Evers' Safer at Home order. Read more...

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March 20, 2020, Governor Evers, Insurance Commissioner Afable Ask Insurers to Offer Flexibility to Wisconsinites Facing Economic Hardship during COVID-19

At the direction of Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable today asked insurers to provide accommodations for Wisconsinites suffering economic hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Read more...

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