Home | Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
Weekly Industry News
Blog Home All Blogs
PIA Western Alliance knows you want to be the best in the field, and the best way to stay on top is to stay informed. PIA Weekly Industry News Brief is an informative e-news brief that delivers the most relevant industry content.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: Weekly Industry News  Insurance Content  Insurance News  Insurance Industry  ObamaCare  The Affordable Care Act  HealthCare.gov  Healthcare  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Cyber Security  Cyber Breach  Cyber Insurance  Employment  jobs  wildfires  flood insurance  work  AIG  Millennials  Employees  Flood  business  Millennials & Insurance  MetLife  Taxes  Just for fun  Pia National  PIA Oregon/Idaho’s EXPO!  Cyber Attacks: An Accelerating Crisis & Now the FI  E&O 

Congratulations to Amy Misterek, 2017 Outstanding Customer Service Representative of the Year for Washington!

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 18, 2017

Amy Misterek was nominated for the award by Joshua Wright, Vice President of Sales for Bell-Anderson, who said this about her, “Her insurance knowledge and expertise in managing the work flow of one of our agencies’ largest book of commercial business is astounding. Our agency is at a huge advantage to have Amy on our team. Along with her undeniable work ethic, Amy has always been an absolute joy to work with. She is a true team player, and always manages to foster positive discussions and bring the best out of other employees and clients.” Another co-worker, Rebecca Armfield agreed, “Amy’s ability to balance her own personal growth, with the highest level of service for our clients, while also mentoring other colleagues to help them reach their highest potential truly shows her exceptional talent.”

All nominees were required to write an essay on the following topic: “A friend who is a CSR has come to you for advice about a new customer service job opportunity in an agency in another city. What five factors about the employer and the position would you advise them to consider before accepting the job? Please discuss the most important factor first.”

A portion of her essay reads: “Does the new company have a business model and workflow that everyone understands and is being followed and enforced? Having been part of my current and past agencies groups to create and review the company’s workflows and help train and mentor those in my office, having structure is very important. If they do not have a solid foundation to work from, there ends up being no uniformity and people are unable to work together as they are each doing things their own way. I am not saying that everyone needs to be alike. In fact, we need different people to make an office function, but the work and how it is processed and set up in the system needs to be streamlined, especially when more than one person works on the same account.”

Amy joined Bell-Anderson Agency in 2015 as a Commercial Lines Account Manager with 15 years of insurance experience.  She began her insurance career at Travelers working in their renewal department for five years.  Amy moved to the independent agency side of the business, joining PayneWest (formerly Payne Financial Group) as a Commercial Lines Account Manager with a focus in the construction industry.  Over her career, she has obtained the Associate in General Insurance (AINS) and Construction Risk Insurance Specialist (CRIS) designations as well as completed the PayneWest Insurance’s Leadership Program in 2013.  Amy has had many accomplishments over the years including 2012 PayneWest’s Employee of the Quarter and 2016 Bell-Anderson’s Commercial Account Manager of the Year.  She has an intense passion for serving her clients and their needs.  Helping them brings her great satisfaction.  When she is not taking care of her clients, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing soccer, camping and seeing the world.  She especially loves to travel with her sister to cheer on the San Francisco Giants and is actively involved in supporting one of their retired pitcher’s non-profit organization, Generation Alive in Spokane, WA.

Tags:  2017 Outstanding Customer Service Representative o  Congratulations to Amy Misterek  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Recent CISR Designation - Taylor Mulvhill

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 18, 2017

Taylor Mulvhill, CISR

I graduated from Washington State University in 2011. My first job out of college

was at Grange Insurance Association in Seattle. I worked in the

operations/underwriting department and marketing for 5 years. Grange allowed

me to further my education and get my producers license. Then taking a job on

the agency side of things, I moved to Texas and Louisiana. Blumberg and

Associates, in Baton Rouge, LA helped me obtain my CISR designation while

working as a personal lines insurance agent. Now I am back in Washington State,

living in my hometown of Kennewick and working at our family agency, Mulvihill

Insurance Services.

Earning my CISR designation shows that I have put in the time and dedication to

having a well-rounded understanding for helping my clients with their insurance

needs. I am able to bring attention to risks and exposures that my clients may

have overlooked before. For me, the designation is a subtle reminder that, "Hey, I

know my stuff."

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Recent CISR Designation - Taylor Mulvhill  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Coming Soon — PIA Montana & IIAM Joint Conference

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 18, 2017

Join us on October 9 & 10 for the 2nd Annual Montana Conference. It combines the strength of two associations — PIA Montana and the Independent Agents Association of Montana (IIAM) to bring you the largest only annual industry event to Montana.

The joint conference is in Billings at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

There are lots of reasons to attend and we encourage agents/brokers, CSRs and marketing representatives to come. The point is education and to learn from industry experts. You will also network with fellow agents and company representatives. And no Montana event is minus some fun.

The trade show is the largest in the state, showcasing the latest in products and services.

Plan to participate in just one session, all day or the entire event. There is something for everyone at this program:

 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

1:00 pm, Darrell Bjornson Memorial Golf Tournament

 

Monday, October 9, 2017

8:00 am: Registration Opens

8:30 am: Welcome Session

9:00 am – 10:15 am: Growing From Within, Andy Shirtliff, Small Business Ombudsman, Govenor's Office of Economic Development

10:30 am - 11:45 am: How To Make Change Work for You, Scott Anderson, Concorde General Agency

12:00 pm – 1:15 pm: Guest Speaker Matt Rodendale

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm: Keynote Speaker Patrick Snow, Create Your Own Destiny

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm: CEO Panel, David Gabrielson, Capital Premium Financing & Stephen Sills, CEO of CapSpecialty

4:15 pm - 5:15 pm: Customer Service Session

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm: Texas Hold 'Em Poker and Bingo Tournament

8:00 pm: Company hosted Hospitality Suites

 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

8:00 am - 9:30 am:

  PIA Board Meeting

  IIAM Agents Meeting    

  Company Partners Meeting

9:30 am - 10:30 am: 2017 Legislative Changes, Scott Tuxbury, Big Sky Underwriters

11:00 am - 1:30 pm: Trade Show Exhibition

2:00 pm - 4:30 pm: Company Hosted Tours & Free Time

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Reception

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Awards Banquet/Entertainment

 

Register online: http://www.mtjointconference.com/Registration/Attendee-Online-Registration/ctl/Register/mid/421/cid/0c6d498b-3d11-48bb-90df-5dc075cf671b

Tags:  Coming Soon — PIA Montana & IIAM Joint Conference  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

NFIP — A Three-Month Extension

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 18, 2017

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) — set to expire September 30th — has been extended by three months to December 8th. The extension came about as part of H.R. 601 which raises the debt limit and keeps the federal government funded through that same date.

Included in the resolution is $15.25 billion in emergency funding for disaster relief and for rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey. That part of the emergency funding is $7.8 billion. Hurricane Irma victims will get assistance from a separate bill.

PIA National Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile said the association is happy with the extension. “We view this short-term extension as a chance for Congress to provide taxpayers with the financial stability such a program requires by passing an essential long-term reauthorization of the NFIP. It has become apparent during this historic hurricane season that far too few homeowners have flood insurance, a situation that must be changed. Legislation providing for a long-term reauthorization of the flood insurance program should be one that balances helping policyholders in need with ensuring the future financial viability of the NFIP,” he said in a statement.

The PIA — like many other insurance organizations and company groups — wants to make sure by December that Congress really reforms the NFIP. Those are reforms that are much needed.

Jimi Grande of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) agrees. He says a short-term renewal is no reason to celebrate. “Congress has had five years since the last reauthorization to reform the NFIP, and the problems facing the program have been starkly evident since at least the 2005 storm season,” Grande said.

The Taxpayers for Common Sense takes the renewal a step farther. It wants Congress to rethink how it does all disaster relief and said the costs have grown from less than 30% in 1989 to 75% today.

“This may not be a popular point-of-view to express right now, but the point of federal disaster relief is not to make people, communities, and states whole. It is to help them rebuild. And they should rebuild in a way that ‘pre-sponds’ to future disasters, and helps ensure that those disaster relief dollars don’t need to be spent in the future,” the group said in a statement.

And that rebuilding — in the case of flooding — needs to be done outside of floodplains.

Whether it is government’s job to make them whole or to just help them rebuild, PIA National says now is not the time to play politics. “It has become apparent during this historic hurricane season that far too few homeowners have flood insurance, a situation that must be changed,” Gentile said.

And while the PIA supports the needed changes to get the NFIP out of debt and flood insurance on a more even keel, the association will not support — Gentile said — is cutting the reimbursement rate paid to NFIP carriers.

“Cutting the reimbursement rate paid to carriers, without a specific and robust protection for agents, would be irresponsible because it would lead to fewer properties being insured against floods. Instead, the goal should be to greatly increase the number of properties covered by flood insurance offered by both the NFIP and the private sector, to ensure that consumers are protected,” Gentile said.

 

Source links: PIA National, Insurance Journal, HousingWire

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  NFIP — A Three-Month Extension  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Update: The West is on Fire

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 18, 2017

Fires continue to burn out of control in the West. The PIA Western Alliance states of Oregon and Montana have been hardest hit. Rain is finally headed for Oregon and has helped put out some fires. Montana is seeing rain and snow.

Other states — Washington, Idaho and California — are also starting to get relief from moisture and rain and cooler weather. The crisis isn’t over but it’s abating. Here’s the scorecard;

  47,700 wildfires have sprung up so far this year

  They have burned over eight million acres

  Most of that acreage is in California, Oregon and Montana

  As of last week, 62 fires were burning across the Western states

  20 are in Montana

  17 are in Oregon

  As of last week, half of those fires had zero containment

 

Now comes talk — as it does every year — about what to do to prevent the plethora of forest fires that plague the West and will likely continue to do so if something isn’t done. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke put out a memo ordering all federal land managers and park superintendents to get more aggressive about cutting down small trees and underbrush.

He calls it “aggressive and scientific fuels reduction management,”

And that management is definitely needed. Zinke said the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Interior have spent $1.2 billion on fires so far this year. That’s as much as was spent in all of 2015.

This doesn’t take into account what states have spent. Oregon has spent $28 million so far this year and Montana close to $50 million.

Zinke said thick vegetation and drought have caused most of the fires and people are calling it the new normal. He finds that unacceptable and said wildfires are “more damaging, more costly and threaten the safety and security of both the public and firefighters. I have heard this described as ‘a new normal.’ It is unacceptable that we should be satisfied with the status quo.”

What the administration isn’t doing is calling for new spending. Management solutions and innovation are going to have to do the trick. “Where new authorities are needed we will work with our colleagues in Congress to craft management solutions that will benefit our public lands for generations to come,” Zinke added.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue agrees something needs done. He and his department and officials in the Western states have been complaining to Congress for years about the way funding is done. Perdue said the mechanism is based on 10-year wildfire averages and that makes it hard to budget since fires are burning hotter and longer now than they were 10-years ago and even five-years ago.

“I believe that we have the right processes and the right procedures of attacking and fighting fires. But if you don’t have the resources and the means of dependable funding, that’s an issue,” Perdue said.

Why? Because Perdue said we “end up having to hoard all of the money that is intended for fire prevention, because we’re afraid we’re going to need it to actually fight fires.”

He and others want Congress to fix the borrowing problem so forest management and park management officials don’t have to take money out of prevention programs to fight fire. “Fires will always be with us. But when we leave a fuel load out there because we have not been able to get to it because of a lack of funding, or dependable funding, we’re asking for trouble,” Perdue said.

Perdue wants that fixed. Using prescribed burn, insect control and other prevention effort money for firefighting means small trees and brush remain for fire to feed upon.

“That’s wrong, and that’s no way to manage the Forest Service,” Perdue said.

Montana Sen. Steve Daines — a Republican — agrees. He said, “If we don’t start managing our forests, the forests are going to start managing us. The fires burning across Montana are a catastrophe, and we need all available resources to combat this threat.”

 

Source link: Associated Press

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Update: The West is on Fire  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The Single-Payer System — Sanders goes all in

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 18, 2017

Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders has made it official — again — and has introduced a Medicare for All bill to develop a single-payer health care system for the United States.

Sanders was greeted with cheers as he said, “Here is the simple truth. Our opponents on this issue have the money and they have the power, but if billions of people across this country stand up, get involved in the political process and fight back, I have no doubt — none whatsoever — that this nation, sooner than people believe, will in fact pass a ‘Medicare for all’ single-payer system, and finally, finally, health care will be a right for all in the United States of America.”

It’s not the first time Sanders has made this proposal. He did it in 2013 and again in 2015. No one paid much attention. And no one showed up for the announcements. The announcement last week drew a standing room only crowd of 300 and the TV broadcast sent the message to millions of viewers.

This time Sanders also has powerful allies. Among them is Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren who said, “It is an enormous honor to stand with each of you to say never again does anyone go bankrupt just because they got sick. We will not back down in our protection of the Affordable Care Ac. We will defend it at every turn, but we will go further, we will go further and we will say in this country everyone, everyone gets a right to basic health care. That’s what Medicare for all is all about, and that’s why we’re here.”

Sanders has support for the bill from15 other Democratic co-sponsors.

Here are the plan details from his website.

Sanders contends over the next 10 years it will cost $6 trillion less than what we have now. We spend $3 trillion a year on health care now and that breaks down to nearly $10,000 a person. Sanders said under his plan the average family will save $5,000 a year.

He noted last year the average working family paid $4,955 in premiums and $1,318 in deductibles to private health insurance companies. Sanders said under his plan a family of four making $50,000 a year would pay just $466 a year.

Sanders notes — even better — businesses will save $9,400 a year for the average employee. The average annual cost to the employer for a worker with a family who makes $50,000 a year would go from $12,591 to just $3,100.

So how do we pay for this program? Sanders said his estimates for the plan’s cost will be $1.38 trillion a year. Here’s how he sees it being paid for:

  A 6.2 percent income-based health care premium paid by employers. Revenue raised: $630 billion per year.

  A 2.2 percent income-based premium paid by households. Revenue raised: $210 billion per year. This year, a family of four taking the standard deduction can have income up to $28,800 and not pay this tax under this plan. A family of four making $50,000 a year taking the standard deduction would only pay $466 this year.

  Progressive income tax rates. Revenue raised: $110 billion a year. Under this plan the marginal income tax rate would be:

  37 percent on income between $250,000 and $500,000.

  43 percent on income between $500,000 and $2 million.

  48 percent on income between $2 million and $10 million. (In 2013, only 113,000 households, the top 0.08 percent of taxpayers, had income between $2 million and $10 million.)

  52 percent on income above $10 million. (In 2013, only 13,000 households, just 0.01 percent of taxpayers, had income exceeding $10 million.)

  Taxing capital gains and dividends the same as income from work. Revenue raised: $92 billion per year. This plan will end the special tax break for capital gains and dividends on household income above $250,000.

  Limit tax deductions for rich. Revenue raised: $15 billion per year. Under Bernie’s plan, households making over $250,000 would no longer be able to save more than 28 cents in taxes from every dollar in tax deductions. This limit would replace more complicated and less effective limits on tax breaks for the rich including the AMT, the personal exemption phase-out and the limit on itemized deductions.

  The Responsible Estate Tax. Revenue raised: $21 billion per year. This provision would tax the estates of the wealthiest 0.3 percent (three-tenths of 1 percent) of Americans who inherit over $3.5 million at progressive rates and close loopholes in the estate tax. Savings from health tax expenditures. Revenue raised: $310 billion per year. Several tax breaks that subsidize health care (health-related “tax expenditures”) would become obsolete and disappear under a single-payer health care system, saving $310 billion per year. Most importantly, health care provided by employers is compensation that is not subject to payroll taxes or income taxes under current law. This is a significant tax break that would effectively disappear under this plan because all Americans would receive health care through the new single-payer program instead of employer-based health care.

Many Democrats — though 16 Senators and a bunch of House members back the plan — are skeptical. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) aren’t that enamored with the plan.

“Right now I’m protecting the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi said. And Schumer — not far behind — added “Democrats believe that health care is a right for all, and there are many different bills out there.”

As expected, the White House thinks Sanders plan is outrageous and not workable.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “I can't think of anything worse than having government be more involved in your health care instead of less involved. He pushed these ideas forward during the campaign and they were rejected, not just by America but by Democrats. He didn't make it through the primary, he didn't make it into the Oval. I think that's a pretty clear indication of what Americans want to see and it's not single-payer.”

Insurers aren’t much happier than the White House. David Merritt is the executive director of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). He said, “Whether it’s called single-payer or Medicare For All, government-controlled health care cannot work. It will eliminate choice, undermine quality, put a chill on medical innovation, and place an even heavier burden on hardworking taxpayers.”

Merritt said better access to private insurance is the answer. “The most effective way to ensure affordable care and coverage is to strengthen the private market’s ability to serve the American people, whether it’s building upon private plans serving nearly 180 million people who get their coverage through their employer or the tens of millions who depend on private plans that partner with public programs,” Merritt said.

 

Source links: The Hill — link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, Bernie Sanders website

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  The Single-Payer System — Sanders goes all in  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The Damage — Hurricanes Irma & Harvey

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 18, 2017

Hurricane Irma was nasty. It — according to estimates by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — destroyed 25% of the homes in the Florida Keys and 65% of them were damaged. The Keys — it is said — got hit the hardest and had the most damage before Hurricane Irma moved into the state and took out more homes and roads and displaced 13 million people.

Power is still out in many places and at the time this is written 110,000 are still in shelters around the state.

Now insurers and insurance raters are assessing the damage and how well insurance will be able to handle claims. AIR Worldwide thinks losses from Irma will be $20 to $40 billion in Florida and $5 to $10 billion in the Caribbean. Hurricane Harvey losses are pegged at $10 billion from AIR Worldwide and close to $30 billion by RMS.

Combined — and at the high end — estimated losses for both storms is $85 billion.

When it comes to the total economic impact of the two storms, AccuWeather says the total damages will be about $290 billion. Joel Myers is the AccuWeather’s president and he said $100 billion of that $290 billion is from Hurricane Irma. “We estimated that Hurricane Harvey is to be the costliest weather disaster in U.S. history at $190 billion or one full percentage point of the GDP. Some of the losses will be covered by insurance, some will not, so the losses will be felt in a variety of ways by millions of people. Many millions of people have already been evacuated, so their lives have already been affected and they have incurred costs of one sort or another.”

Much of the loss being experienced from both hurricanes involves flooding. That brings flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) into focus. Two years ago, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — which manages the NFIP — said half of the 1.5 million homes required to carry flood insurance because of their government backed loans did not.

It’s an estimate and not a fact but probably close to accurate said Samantha Medlock who was a flood policy advisor to President Barack Obama. “This is a huge blind spot,” she said and noted that many let their flood insurance lapse thinking they’ll be okay because the federal government will step in and help them out.

She calls that a huge mistake.

Statistics uncovered by Bloomberg said over 80% of those in Texas flooded by Hurricane Harvey did not have flood insurance. In Florida, close to 43% of those required to have flood insurance do not.

PIA National’s Vice President of Government Affairs Jon Gentile said the recent extension of the NFIP authorization just puts off hard decisions on the NFIP that need to be made.

“We view this short-term extension as a chance for Congress to provide taxpayers with the financial stability such a program requires by passing an essential long-term reauthorization of the NFIP. It has become apparent during this historic hurricane season that far too few homeowners have flood insurance, a situation that must be changed. Legislation providing for a long-term reauthorization of the flood insurance program should be one that balances helping policyholders in need with ensuring the future financial viability of the NFIP,” Gentile said.

When it comes to insurance other than flood, Hiscox — the Lloyd’s of London underwriter — says homeowners rates will rise because of the two hurricanes. Hiscox CEO Bronek Masojada said, “This will definitely have the impact of eliminating price reductions. I think that loss-affected areas will see price rises. The bigger ticket property area will see price rises because that was a very under-priced area beforehand. People buy programs covering all of their property wherever they are in America. So, it (price rises) will be broader than just Texas and Florida.”

 

Source links: Insurance Business America — link 1, link 2, Carrier Management, Insurance Journal, Palm Beach Post, Reuters, PIA National, Digital Insurance

Tags:  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  The Damage — Hurricanes Irma & Harvey  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Oregon Joins Washington — New Distracted Driving Law

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 18, 2017

The law in Washington has been about as popular as a root canal. It says you can’t do much with your phone while driving. Now Oregon is about to put a similar law into effect.

Starting October 1st, the new hands-free law goes into effect. It comes via House Bill 2597 which says any hands-on activity with a mobile device in your lap or on your seat will be illegal.

Key word in that last sentence: ANY.

You cannot touch you cell phone in any way while driving. No cell phone. No navigation. No social media. No texting. No anything. This applies to driving and to being stopped at a stop sign, a red light, or just about anywhere.

In fact, the only thing you can do with your phone while driving is hands free talking. And this is where things get tricky. How can you answer your phone if you’re not allowed to touch it while driving?

Some think you can quickly touch or swipe the phone if it’s mounted. Others are saying it’s completely illegal to do anything with it while driving and you might as well shut it off.

The first offense can be offset by taking a safety class. The fine — if you decide to forgo the class — is $1,000. A second offense is $2,500. You could end up in jail if proven guilty on a third offense.

Klamath Falls Republican Sen. Dennis Linthicum of Klamath Falls has the same criticism of the bill that many of you will hold. He said, “Whether I’m handling a cellphone or I’m chasing the M&M that I just dropped in my lap or the bag of Skittles that’s on the floorboard under my feet, distracted driving is distracted driving. Distracted driving should be our target, not the use of mobile electronic devices.”

 

Source links: That Oregon Life, The News Review

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Oregon Joins Washington — New Distracted Driving L  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 18, 2017

California — New Work Comp Filing: The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has submitted an amended pure premium rate filing. It wants it to take effect January 1, 2018.

Sent to the California Department of Insurance, the WCIRB said the change is based on a review of loss experience that is lower than the projected indemnity and medical loss of the second quarter.

The amended rate will be $1.96 per $100 of payroll. That’s 2% less than what was approved in July.

 

New Mexico — Drug Manufacturer Suit: New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has sued Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, Endo International and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries over what he says is the deceptive marketing of opioids.

He has joined cities in California, Illinois and New York and the states of Oklahoma, Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire and South Carolina in the push to hold these businesses accountable.

And he didn’t stop there.

His suit accuses wholesalers McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen of not upholding their duty to monitor, detect and report suspicious orders of opioids. “New Mexico continues to endure the most catastrophic effects of the opioid crisis, all while major out of state corporations make billions in profits at the expense of our families and communities,” Balderas said.

Source link: Insurance Journal

 

New Mexico — Unpaid Premium Insurance Taxes: New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas continues to contend that Presbyterian Healthcare Services has avoided paying the state’s insurance taxes by using an illegal accounting procedure.

The sum is millions of dollars and Banderas will not let it rest. He’s telling the company to pay up or else.

 

Oregon — From the Oregon Department of Insurance: 2018 Workers' Compensation Rate Change Notice - OAR Chapter 440

Re: Workers’ Compensation Rate Change Notice

The Department of Consumer and Business Services has announced a 14 percent average reduction in pure premium rates for employers in 2018. For more information: http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/cost/Pages/rulemaking.aspx.

Re: Proposed 2018 Workers' Compensation Premium Assessment Rates

Each year, the Department of Consumer and Business Services adopts by rule the workers' compensation premium assessment rate that is paid by all employers to fund workers' compensation and workplace safety and health programs. In the “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing,” filed with the Secretary of State on Aug. 14, 2017, the department proposed a premium assessment rate of 6.8 percent, and explained that this was a preliminary date and subject to change during the rulemaking process.

Based on economic forecasts, department analysts are now recommending a premium assessment rate of 7.4 percent. The proposed increase from 6.8 percent to 7.4 percent will allow the department to maintain current service levels throughout 2018. The department has posted "Workers’ Compensation Premium Assessment Rate Recommendation for CY 2018," marked as Exhibit 1.

Additional assessments to fund the Self-Insured Employer Adjustment Reserve and Self-Insured Employer Group Adjustment Reserve are expected to remain unchanged from 2017 levels. However, these too are preliminary rates and are subject to change during the rulemaking process.

A hearing on the proposed workers' compensation premium assessment rates will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Room B (Basement) of the Labor & Industries Building, 350 Winter St. NE, Salem, Oregon.

Written testimony will be accepted through 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017* by the Director's Office of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, 350 Winter St. NE, P.O. Box 14480, Salem, OR 97309-0405.

*Note: This date is a correction to the date of Sept. 29 announced in the email notifications of Aug. 23 and 24.

Text of the proposed rules, as well as the other rulemaking documents, can be found at

http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/cost/Pages/rulemaking.aspx.

Address questions to Heather Welburn, Rules Coordinator; phone 503-947-7872; fax 503-378-5969; or email heather.welburn@oregon.gov.

 

ID 08-2017: Revises the Certificate of Compliance filing form reflecting Division of Financial Regulation

Amend: OAR 836-010-0011

This rule updates the Certificate of Compliance sample form required as a part of each rate and form filing. The form sample is currently an exhibit within OAR 836-010-0011, this rulemaking removes the exhibit from the rule and places it on the Division of Financial Regulation website. In addition, this rule updates the form to correct the reference of the Oregon Insurance Division to the Division of Financial Regulation in order to reflect the official name change that occurred in January of 2016. Currently, a rulemaking is necessary to replace references to the Oregon Insurance Division with the Division of Financial Regulation because this form is an exhibit within the rule. This rulemaking allows for future updates to the form to be carried out without having a formal rulemaking process.

Adopted: August 4, 2017

Effective: September 11, 2017

For more information, please visit the Division's website:

http://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/adopted-rules.aspx

 

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation recently announced the following Proposed Rulemaking hearing:

Adoption of NAIC Corporate Governance Model Regulation Language

Adopt: OAR OAR 836-011-0020, 836-011-0022, 836-011-0024

These proposed rules adopt Corporate Governance Regulation Language from NAIC Model 306. As required by Senate Bill 97, Oregon insurers must submit to DCBS Corporate Governance disclosure reports annually, consistent with the NAIC model regulation requirements. These proposed rules provide insurers the direction needed to submit this report.

Filed: September 12, 2017

Public hearing: October 24, 2017, 10:30 a.m.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Last day for public comment: October 31, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

The agency requests public comment on whether other options should be considered for achieving the rule's substantive goals while reducing the negative economic impact of the rule on business.

For more information on this proposed rule, please visit the Division's website:

dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/proposed-rules.aspx

 

Revise employer group health insurance counting methodology to determine small or large group

Amend: OAR 836-053-0015

In 2017, the Legislature enacted SB 271, which removed discretion of the Department of Consumer and Business Service to prescribe group size consistent with the guidance provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Labor or the US Department of the Treasury. The amended law treats "small group" as an employer who employed not more than 50 and at least one full-time equivalent employee on the first day of the plan year. This rulemaking activity makes conforming changes to OAR 836-053-0015 consistent with the new law.

The Exhibit to the rule was revised to provide the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) clarification of the requirement that in order to qualify as a small employer group; the group must include at least one common law employee enrolled in the plan.

Filed: September 12, 2017

Public hearing: October 24, 2017, 1:30 p.m.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Last day for public comment: October 26, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

The agency requests public comment on whether other options should be considered for achieving the rule's substantive goals while reducing the negative economic impact of the rule on business.

For more information on this proposed rule, please visit the Division's website:

dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/proposed-rules.aspx

 

Washington — From the Office of the Insurance Commissioner: Rule adopted to change language in WAC 284-50-330(8) to align with RCW 48.20.420

We adopted the rule to change language in WAC 284-50-330(8) to align with RCW 48.20.420 (R 2017-08) on September 6, 2017. The rule takes effect on October 7. This rule updated the language in WAC 284-50-330(8) to align with the language used in RCW 48.20.420, by replacing the use of the term " mental retardation" with "development disability". 

For more information, including the adopted rule (CR-103P) and the concise explanatory statement, please visit the rule's webpage: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/changing-language-wac-284-50-3308-align-rcw-4820420-r-2017-08?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

 

Interest rate table rule adopted

We adopted the interest rate tables for Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) land acquisitions rule (R 2017-03) on September 6, 2017. The rule takes effect on October 7. This rule establishes an interest rate table that will be used when WSDOT acquires land from irrigation districts for highway purposes as referenced in RCW 87.03.810.

For more information, including the adopted rule (CR-103P) and the concise explanatory statement, please visit the rule's webpage: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/interest-rate-washington-state-department-transportation-wsdot-land-acquisitions-r-2017-03?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

 

Obsolete citations to domestic insurer investments rule adopted

We adopted the obsolete citations to domestic insurer rule (R 2017-02) on September 11, 2017. The rule takes effect on October 12. The rule will clean up obsolete statutory citations to the rules regarding domestic insurer investment.

For more information, including the adopted rule (CR-103P) and the concise explanatory statement, please visit the rule's webpage: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/obsolete-citations-domestic-insurer-investments-r-2017-02?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

 

Surplus lines broker licensing proposed rule posted

We have released the proposed rule language on (R 2017-10). During the 2017 legislative session Substitute House Bill 1027, was passed which amends the surplus line broker licensing statute.

We scheduled a public hearing on the rule:

When: October 24, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.

Where: 5000 Capitol Blvd., SE Tumwater, WA 98501

Comments on the proposed rule language are due October 23, 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/addressing-surplus-line-brokers-licensing-r-2017-10?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Washington — Medicare Fraud Day: National Medicare Fraud Day was last week. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler submitted this story on how Medicare fraud costs taxpayers $60 billion a year and what can be done about it.

 

What you can do to help stop Medicare fraud

  Protect your Medicare number, located on your Medicare card. Treat it like a credit card and don’t carry it with you unless you need to use it.

  Don’t give out your Medicare, Social Security or bank account numbers over the phone or in person, unless you made contact – and you trust the person.

  Remember, nothing is ever free. Don’t accept offers of money or gifts for "free" medical care.

  Ask questions. You have a right to know everything about your medical care, including the costs billed to Medicare.

  Check your Medicare statements to make sure they are accurate and match the services you actually received.

  Be wary of medical providers who tell you the item or service isn’t usually covered, but they “know how to bill Medicare” so Medicare will pay.

  Be cautious if a company requests you pay for premiums in cash, pay a year’s premium in advance, or pressures you to buy right away because it’s your “last chance.”

  Check with the insurance commissioner to make sure an insurance company or agent is allowed to do business in Washington state.

How you can report Medicare fraud

If you suspect fraud or have questions about fraud, call our Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-562-6900 and ask to speak with our Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program. SHIBA is Washington state’s Senior Medicare Patrol, a federally funded grant through the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that works to reduce Medicare fraud.

If fraud or abuse is suspected, we will work with you and the appropriate state and federal agencies to investigate.

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

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

PIA Western Alliance Wins Award At PIA National's Fall Governance Meetings

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 15, 2017

PIA National’s Fall Governance Meetings are going on right now in Minneapolis.  The PIA Western Alliance has been recognized for continual membership growth by PIA National!  Thank you.

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  PIA Western Alliance Wins Award At PIA National's   Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 1 of 148
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  >   >>   >| 

A special thank you to our KKlub Members for their support.