Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Workers' Compensation Division
Claims for COVID-19 or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2
(1) Definitions. For the purpose of this rule:
“COVID-19” means a disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
“Isolation” means the physical separation and confinement of a person who is infected or reasonably believed to be infected with COVID-19 from nonisolated persons to prevent or limit the transmission of COVID-19 to nonisolated persons.
“Medical service provider” means a person duly licensed to practice one or more of the healing arts.
“Presumptive case” means:
The person has not tested positive for COVID-19;
The person has an acute illness with at least two of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, cough, fever, new loss of smell or taste, or radiographic evidence of viral pneumonia;
There is no more likely alternative diagnosis; and
The person, within the 14 days before illness onset, had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
“Quarantine” means the physical separation and confinement of a person who has been or may have been exposed to COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 and who does not show signs or symptoms of COVID-19, from persons who have not been exposed to COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2, to prevent or limit the transmission of COVID-19 to other persons.
“SARS-CoV-2” means the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19.(2) Reasonable investigation. Under OAR 436-060-0140 (Acceptance or Denial of a Claim)(1), insurers must conduct a “reasonable investigation” before denying any claim. For claims filed on or after Feb. 1, 2021, for COVID-19 or exposure to SARS-CoV-2, in addition to the requirements of OAR 436-060-0140 (Acceptance or Denial of a Claim)(1), a reasonable investigation must include the steps in subsections (a) through (d) of this section. The steps in subsections (a) through (d) are not required if the claim is denied for procedural reasons not related to the worker’s exposure to COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 (for example, the claim was filed with the wrong insurer, the insurer did not provide coverage, or the worker is nonsubject).
Investigate whether there was likely exposure to COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 that arose out of and in the course of the worker’s employment;
Investigate the source of the worker’s exposure to COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2, which must include obtaining a medical or expert opinion, if, before a compensability denial is issued, the worker tests positive for COVID-19 or a medical service provider diagnoses a presumptive case of COVID-19, the insurer is aware of the test results or presumptive diagnosis, and the source of the exposure is unclear;
Determine whether the worker did not work for a period of quarantine or isolation at the direction of a medical service provider, the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division, a local public health authority as defined in ORS 431.003 (Definitions), or the employer, for purposes of discovering information that may be relevant to the compensability determination; and
Determine whether medical services were required as a result of potential workplace exposure to COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2, even if the worker ultimately did not test positive for COVID-19.(3) Auditing and monitoring.
Audits of claims filed on or after Oct. 1, 2020, but before Feb. 1, 2021, will focus on, but not necessarily be limited to, whether the insurer complied with OAR 436-060-0141 (Claims for COVID-19 or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2)(2), effective 10⁄1/2020 (WCD Admin. Order 20-061).(C)Audits of claims filed on or after Feb. 1, 2021, will focus on, but not necessarily be limited to, whether the insurer complied with section (2) of this rule.