Madison, Wis. — Today, Insurance Commissioner Nathan Houdek joined Department of Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake and other members of Governor Evers’ cabinet to launch the Thank You Tour: Moving Forward Together to thank communities for their COVID-19 response efforts.
“When we issued our first COVID-19 bulletin in March 2020, the pandemic was an emerging and uncertain threat, but it was clear that our health care systems and health insurers needed to be prepared,” said Commissioner Houdek. “We are grateful for all the health care industry workers and other emergency response personnel who have ensured that testing, vaccinations, and treatment are available for residents across Wisconsin. I also appreciate the efforts of the insurance industry to be responsive to the needs of policyholders and the changing regulatory environment as we have navigated the challenges of the pandemic.”
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) issued its first COVID-19 bulletin, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Coverage Request, with a focus on requesting that health plans identify and remove barriers to testing and treatment for COVID-19. That bulletin also noted the potential release of a COVID-19 vaccine and requested that the vaccine be covered when it is available. The Commissioner reminded health plans to verify that their provider networks and telehealth services were sufficient to meet any potential increased demand.
Since the issuance of the first COVID-19 bulletin on March 6, 2020, OCI has issued dozens more bulletins and press releases, to keep insurers, agents, and consumers informed throughout the pandemic.
“State agencies like OCI and DHS have made every effort to communicate clearly, quickly, and accurately throughout this public health emergency and we will continue to do so as our state bounces back,” concluded Commissioner Houdek. “As DHS embarks on their Thank You Tour to show support for health care workers, I want to also extend my thanks to the public health experts at DHS that have been critical to our state’s response to COVID-19. We are grateful for their work as well.”