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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 10, 2017

California — Oakland Fire Update: Derick Almena and Max Harris turned an Oakland warehouse into an entertainment venue. A fire last December killed 36 people. The two have been prosecuted and have pleaded not guilty to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter from that fire.

Their attorneys say this should be a civil and not a criminal matter.


California — Companies and Discriminatory Pricing: California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is ordering Nationwide and USAA to stop charging motorists in minority neighborhoods more than they’d charge people in white neighborhoods with similar risk profiles.

The decision by Jones and the department comes from a ProPublica report that says this is not as prevalent in California as it is in other states where Safeco, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide and USAA are said to be charging 10% more — at least — for those in minority neighborhoods.


Source link: Insurance Business America


Idaho — 2018 Small Group Insurance Rates: The Idaho Department of Insurance released the final 2018 premium rates for all small group health plans today. Carriers filed their initial request in June, however, carriers were allowed to revise those initial requests based on the department’s review or other factors.

The Department took public comment and began working with carriers to evaluate the rate increases. The Department’s only authority is to deem the rate increase unreasonable. Carriers propose rates based on claims experience, premiums, network provider agreements, administrative and other costs. After review of the preliminary rates and justifications, the Department did not find the final rate increases to be unreasonable.

The final 2018 rate adjustments and justifications for each carrier offering small group plans are published on the Department website, http://www.doi.idaho.gov/consumer/RateReview/, along with an interactive tool where small employers can click on their geographical location to find plans sold in that area and see the rate adjustments per plan. Small employers can also review prices by metal level (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum).

“The small group health insurance market rates have overall been considerably stable during the last two years. While rate increases are never welcome, the average increase was only 4% from 2016 to 2017, and it is once again 4% from 2017 to 2018. Some carriers are even reducing their rates for small group health insurance in 2018,” said Department Director Dean Cameron.

The Department recommends small groups work with a licensed agent or broker to evaluate the various plan options. For example, many plans are closely associated with certain physician groups or hospital systems, and therefore may not have as broad a selection of in-network healthcare providers as other plans. The Department also encourages groups to carefully review the out-of-network provisions of the plans.

For questions about this or other insurance-related topics, consumers are encouraged to contact the Idaho Department of Insurance by visiting www.doi.idaho.gov or by calling 334-4250 in the Boise area or 800-721-3272 toll-free statewide.


Idaho — Work Comp Rates: Workers’ compensation rates are going to drop in 2018. The National Council on Compensation Insurance has asked the Idaho Department of Insurance to drop the overall rate to 5.8%.


Source link: Insurance Journal


Montana — Asbestos Mine: In Montana, the state is going to take over the cleanup of the asbestos laden Libby Mine. Over the years hundreds of people have died because of exposure to asbestos found there and the Legislature wants to keep people safe. It established the five-member Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team.

Its purpose is to prevent further exposure to the residents of Libby and Troy.


Source link: Insurance Journal


New Mexico — Record Insurance Rates: New Mexico’s Department of Insurance has said yes to the largest health insurance rate hike in the state’s history. Superintendent of Insurance John Franchini said yes to rate jumps on the ObamaCare exchange that will average 40%.

Rates in New Mexico will hit between 36% and 41% for mid-level coverage and some could be as high as 49%.


Source link: Insurance Business America


New Mexico — Insurance Tax Rates: Originally State Insurance Superintendent John Franchini said the unpaid insurance premium taxes was $193 million. A new audit says that figure is grossly exaggerated. The superintendent’s office won’t say how much lower that amount is but the audit says it is definitely much lower.

The state says 30 companies are guilty of not paying those taxes.


Source link: Insurance Journal


Oregon — From the Department of Insurance: Extension of Public Comment Period for Health Care Practitioner Credentialing Rulemaking

As a result of public input and request, the Oregon Health Authority is extending the written comment period to OCTOBER 30, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

BACKGROUND: The public comment period for the Common Credentialing Notice of Proposed Rules originally opened on August 1, 2017. The proposed rules had a disclaimer that included two items labeled as temporary or subject to change – the treatment of “health systems” and the operational date of the program. A hearing was held on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 and written comments were received through August 18, 2017. The Authority received input from several stakeholders during the public comment period asking for further discussion on the treatment of “health systems” in particular, before final regulations are adopted by the Authority.

As a result, the Authority is extending the public comment period through October 30, 2017, 5:00 pm and will hold an additional Rules Advisory Committee meeting on October 25, 2107 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Below are details on how to provide public comment and the October 25th RAC meeting. The RAC agenda and latest draft of the rule will be posted to the HPA rules website and OHA Public meetings calendar by 5:00 PM on October 16, 2017.

Written comment period has been extended to October 30, 2017, 5:00 pm. Please email or mail written comments to:


OHA – Health Policy & Analytics Division

Zarie Haverkate, Rules Coordinator

500 Summer Street NE, E-65

Salem, OR 97301


Rule Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting will be held on:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Lincoln Building

Transformation Training Room (7th floor)

421 SW Oak Street, Suite 775

Portland, Oregon 97204


Or join by phone at: 1-888-808-6929, Participant code: 247-4583 (#)

Mobile-friendly link: 1-888-808-6929, 2474583#


The purpose of the RAC meeting is to gain further input and advice from the RAC relating to comments that have been received thus far in the formal rulemaking process and to allow for a transparent process in reviewing staff’s latest version of the rule text. Members of the public are welcome to attend the RAC, and time will be set aside at the end of the meeting for public comment.

As previously stated, the RAC agenda and latest draft of the rule will be posted to the HPA rules website and OHA Public meetings calendar by 5:00 PM on October 16, 2017. Final rules will be filed on or before January 1, 2018.

PLEASE NOTE: The RAC meeting is not a rulemaking hearing. In order for your comments to be considered into the formal rulemaking record, they must be received in writing, addressed to the HPA Rules Coordinator, as indicated above on or before the comment period closes on October 30, 2017. This is to ensure that the RAC’s role as an advisor to the Authority is separate from formal testimony that the Authority must consider and respond to in the Hearing Officer’s Report.

For more details, please see OAR 409-045 Notice of Rulemaking, Statement of Need, and Proposed Rule Text (pdf).


2018 Quarterly Rate Filing Deadlines

The 2018 Quarterly Rate Filing Deadlines document has been posted to our website. The timeline impacts only Individual and Small Group Health Benefit Plans and Certified Pediatric Dental Plans. Updates include adding deadlines for filing optional Small Group quarterly Rate filings and removing deadlines that have passed.

To view the latest version of the timeline visit:

Regulatory guidance related to health reform



2018 Quarterly Rate Filing Deadlines



Washington — From the Department of Insurance: Cost of public records requests proposed rule posted

We have released the proposed rule language on (R 2017-05). This rule conforms sections of WAC: 284-03-035 to the statutory amendments in Engrossed House Bill 1595, particularly the charging of fees for copying public records.

We scheduled a public hearing on the rule:

When: November 14, 2017, at 1:00 p.m.

Where: 5000 Capitol Blvd. SE Tumwater, WA 98501. Directions can be found here.

Comments on the proposed rule language are due November 13, 2017; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the proposed rule language (CR-102) please visit the rule's webpage: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/cost-public-records-requests-r-2017-05?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=


Stakeholder draft posted on updates to pharmacy benefit manager rule

We released a stakeholder draft for the Updates to pharmacy benefits manager to rule (R 2017-12). Through this rulemaking, the OIC will revise current and/or add sections to WAC 284-180, regarding pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to include minor technical additions that the agency has identified are necessary to fully implement 2016 c 210 §§ 1 and 2 through 7.

We have scheduled a stakeholder meeting to discuss the rule:


When: October 20, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.

Where: 5000 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater. The call-in number is 1-240-454-0887. The access code is 800 992 450.

Comments on the stakeholder draft are due October 27, 2017; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

You can find more information on the department website: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/update-pharmacy-benefit-manager-rules-r-2017-12?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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