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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 27, 2017

California — Marijuana and Surplus Lines: The final hearing has been conducted by California’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation on insuring businesses selling marijuana.

Final regulations are expected to be released on January 1st of next year.

The proposals being considered say the new industry’s value will be around $7 billion. Of that an estimated $1 billion will go to taxes. Section 5108, subsection C of the proposed regulations says companies must purchase insurance only from businesses authorized to conduct business in California.

The Surplus Line Association of California head Benjamin McKay said the regulations will make it nearly impossible for those businesses to pick up insurance. He said the regulations are “at odds with both market realities and the California Insurance Code.”

These days most of the business selling marijuana get their insurance from the surplus lines market. The reason — McKay explained — is because when the risk is determined to be distressed, unique, high capacity or too new for insurers to price, then businesses go to surplus lines.

The California Department of Insurance agrees. It submitted testimony saying very few California insurers are in the marijuana insurance market.

Source link: Insurance Journal


Idaho — Department of Insurance seeks comments to licensing process: In response to Executive Order 2017-06, the Idaho Department of Insurance will be reaching out to stakeholders for comment regarding the licensing and renewal process to ensure that the Department’s processes do not create unnecessary barriers to commerce or employment. Information on how individuals can submit comments will be available on the Department’s website, www.doi.idaho.gov.

“The Department of Insurance is tasked with protecting the public through laws and rules associated with licensing and oversight,” said Department Director Dean Cameron. “These laws and rules will be thoroughly reviewed to determine their necessity and whether the public interest could be better served by making changes. Comments will be taken into consideration during this review.”

Acting Governor Brad Little issued the Executive Order on May 19. The Department will begin taking electronic comments on June 21. Written comments will be accepted immediately and should be addressed to:

Idaho Department of Insurance

Licensing Comments

PO Box 83720

Boise ID 83720-0043

The opportunity to comment will close May 1, 2018.


Oregon — Senate Gives Final Approval to Bills Protecting Oregon Health Plan: With a series of bipartisan votes Wednesday the Oregon Senate gave final approval to a package of bills that will fund the Oregon Health Authority and protect health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of low-income Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan.

House Bill 2391 creates the funding to continue offering coverage to more than 350,000 Oregonians added to the Oregon Health Plan under the federal Affordable Care Act. It raises $673 million in revenue and offsets a total of $599.4 million in general fund in the Oregon Health Plan. It was approved on a 20-10 vote

“By protecting coverage for hundreds of thousands of people on Medicaid, we’ve ensured that, in Oregon, access to health care doesn’t depend on the size of your paycheck. We’ve given parents the peace of mind that comes with knowing their children can get the care they need when they need it. We’re continuing Oregon’s tradition of cost-effective prevention and early intervention thus creating healthier communities and a healthier state,” said Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, a Beaverton Democrat and a physician.

“Our health care system works best when everyone has coverage. People are healthier and our economy is healthier. Less uncompensated care means less cost-shifting and, in the long run, lower insurance premiums. It’s good for health care providers and the public,” said Senator Jackie Winters, a Salem Republican who carried HB 2391 on the floor.

House Bill 5026, the budget for the Oregon Health Authority, was approved 24-6. It totals $19.9 billion, including $2.2 billion in general fund, $12.5 million in lottery fund, $6.6 billion other funds limitation and $10.9 billion in federal fund expenditure limitation. The total funds budget is 1.4 percent less than the 2015-17 budget.

Senators also approved House Bills 5027 and 3398.

HB 5027 is the fee ratification bill for the Oregon Health Authority. It ratifies fees that were administratively adopted by the Oregon Health Authority and approved by the Department of Administrative Services during the interim. It passed on a 22-8 vote.

HB 3398, which passed 23-7, extends the end date of the Oregon Medical Insurance Pool Account from July 1 to Nov. 1, 2017. After all claims are paid, an estimated $50 million will remain in the fund and is expected to be used in the new reinsurance program that is a part of HB 2391.

This package of bills maximizes federal matching funds and is the result of four months of debate and discussion in a bipartisan, bicameral workgroup. This approach has the support of major health care groups, including the Oregon Medical Association, the Hospital Association, 15 CCOs, and an overwhelming majority of insurers who do business in the state.

All four measures now head to Governor Brown.


Washington — Insurers propose 22.3 percent average rate change for 2018 health plans: Eleven health insurers filed 71 health plans for Washington state’s 2018 individual and family health insurance market, with an average proposed rate increase of 22.3 percent. No health insurer filed plans in two counties – Klickitat and Grays Harbor.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has been reaching out to insurers since they filed their plans on June 7 to see if one or more will reconsider offering plans in the bare counties.

“I’m very concerned by the proposed changes we’re seeing,” Kreidler said. “I know these numbers will be extremely upsetting to people who buy their own health insurance. They’re upsetting to me. We’re going to spend the next several months reviewing every assumption insurers have made to make sure their proposed increases are justified.

“There is a great deal of uncertainty underlying our country’s health insurance system today and no state is immune. There are specific issues with our health insurance system that we need to address, such as the rising costs of prescription drugs and health care services. Yet, the current federal administration’s actions – such as not committing to reimburse insurers for cost-sharing subsidies and not enforcing the individual mandate – appear focused only on destabilizing the insurance market. Sadly, it’s the people in our communities and across the country who will pay the price.”

All rates, health plans, and coverage areas are under review and may change. Once Kreidler's review is complete, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board is scheduled to certify all plans for sale in Washington Healthplanfinder, our state's Exchange, on Sept. 14. Open enrollment for the 2018 individual market starts Nov. 1.

Approximately 62 percent of people in the state currently enrolled through Washington state's Exchange receive a subsidy to help offset their costs.

To see more from the commissioner on this topic click here.

Washington — Notice of Rulemaking: We are starting rulemaking (R 2017-04) to clarify education alternatives to adjuster training by creating new and amended existing sections of WAC 284-17-123. It would also establish the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s interpretation of the breadth of the activities to be licensed under the definition of adjuster.

Comments are due August 4, 2017; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the notice to start rulemaking (CR-101), please visit the rule's webpage: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/clarifying-adjuster-licensing-requirements-r-2017-04?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Notice of rulemaking on Title insurance rating and advisory organizations

We are starting rulemaking (R 2017-06) to consider adopting rules regarding title rating organizations

Comments are due August 4, 2017; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the notice to start rulemaking (CR-101), please visit the rule's webpage: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/title-insurance-rating-and-advisory-organizations-r-2017-06?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Notice of rulemaking on the cost of public records requests

We are starting rulemaking (R 2017-05) to conform sections of WAC 284-3-035 to the statutory amendments in Engrossed House Bill 1595 particularly the charging of fees for copying public records.

Comments are due August 4, 2017; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the notice to start rulemaking (CR-101), 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=

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

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