Two new laws that go into effect Jan. 1 will kick off some of the first changes of 2021. These laws are regarding prior authorization requirements of health insurance providers and requirements regarding sexual assault examination kits. 

With the exception of managed care plans, Medical Assistance, and MinnesotaCare, health insurance providers will now be required to comply with previous prior authorizations for 60 days after a member switches insurance providers. Additionally, any changes to prior authorization requirements that occur during the year will not be put into effect for current members until the following calendar year. It is mandatory for insurance providers to provide clear, easy-to-understand information regarding requirements and restrictions on their websites. 

Sexual assault examination kits laws have been modified, specifically in reference to how restricted kits are handled and stored. A restricted kit is one in which the victim does not want the evidence analyzed. The new law requires that all restricted kits be submitted to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension within 60 days of collection, where they will be retained for at least 30 months before being destroyed. This extended time frame will give victims time to decide whether or not they would like the kit submitted for forensic analysis. Current law provides some discretion to law enforcement on submitting an unrestricted kit requiring the victim to sign a release to permit forensic analysis, the new law overturns the requirement of a signed release for forensic testing. The new law also requires that the unrestricted kits be retained indefinitely. 

Lake Region Healthcare was unable to share the impact this will have prior to the story going to print. 

Summaries of all laws passed by the 2020 Legislature in regular and special sessions are available online from nonpartisan House Public Information Services at www.house.mn/newlaws/#/search/2020.

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