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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 4, 2019

California — Price Gouging: California Governor Gavin Newsom has extended price gouging protections for renters in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. The fires there destroyed 6,200 homes. The executive order adds more time onto the order that has been in place since 2017.

It lasts until the end of 2019 and prevents hikes in rent over over 10%.

Newsom’s order also covers renters in Santa Barbara and Shasta counties where fire has impacted the housing market since 2018.

California State Sen. Bill Dodd — a Democrat from Napa — praised the governor’s decision to extend the protections. “I think it’s an important step to just make sure that people know and understand that this kind of behavior is not going to be tolerated,” he said. “I just think it’s important that people not be taken advantage of because they were one of the unfortunate ones that had their homes burned in the wildfire.”

Source link: Press Democrat

Idaho — Medicare Workshops: Free Medicare Workshop for individuals turning 65 and those approaching Medicare eligibility will be held in the following Idaho cities:

June 14, 2019
Rexburg, Idaho
4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Madison Memorial Hospital in the Meeting Room on the 2nd Floor
450 E. Main Street

June 18, 2019
Kellogg, Idaho
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Shoshone Medical Center/Classroom
25 Jacobs Gulch Rd

June 25, 2019
Coeur d`Alene, Idaho
1:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m.
The Kroc Center, 1765 Golf Course Rd.

June 26, 2019
Blackfoot, Idaho
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The Bingham County Senior Citizen Center, 20 E. Pacific Street

June 27, 2019
Coeur d`Alene, Idaho
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Kroc Center, 1765 Golf Course Rd.

Medicare workshops are designed to introduce the various parts of Medicare and to share some of the costs and benefits associated with the program.  Sessions cover enrollment timeframes for Medigap, Medicare Advantage, prescription drug plans, and how the different parts of Medicare work together.

Staff with the state’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program, a unit of the Idaho Department of Insurance, conduct the workshops.  To register for the upcoming session, please contact the SHIBA Helpline at 1-800-247-4422.

Idaho — Dept. of Insurance Seeks Comments on Coverage Choice Waiver: The Idaho Department of Insurance is requesting public comment through public hearings, email or traditional mail regarding a draft Section 1332 State Relief and Empowerment Waiver application. The Department plans to submit the waiver application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and to the United States Department of the Treasury on or about July 15, 2019.

The purpose of the waiver, titled the Coverage Choice Waiver, is to allow Idahoans with incomes from 100% to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) the choice to continue receiving tax credits to reduce premiums for private health insurance, or alternatively to enroll in Medicaid. The proposed effective date for the waiver is January 1, 2020.

In November 2018, voters passed a proposition to expand Medicaid eligibility to individuals with incomes up to 138% FPL. The Idaho legislature then passed SB1204aa, instructing the Department of Health and Welfare and the Department of Insurance to seek the Coverage Choice Waiver. Without the waiver, individuals who are eligible for Medicaid cannot qualify for the premium tax credit.

The Department’s comprehensive public notice, tribal notice and the waiver application are available at https://doi.idaho.gov/publicinformation/publiccomments. The public hearings will be held at the following locations:

Boise Public Hearing                                             Lewiston Public Hearing
Location:  Department of Health & Welfare       Location:  Department of Health & WelfareWestgate Office, Room 131                   Lewiston Office, 3rd Floor Conference Room   1720 Westgate Drive, Boise                                1118 F Street, Lewiston
Date: June 24, 2019                                               Date: June 27, 2019
Time:  2:00 – 3:00 PM                                            Time:  10:00 – 11:00 AM

Public comments will be accepted until June 30, 2019.

Oregon — From the Department of Insurance: Amendment to the 2020 standard bronze and silver health benefit plan

Rules affected: OAR 836-053-0013

Need for Rules:

ORS 743B.130 requires the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) to prescribe by rule the form, level of coverage, and benefit design for bronze and silver health benefit plans that must be offered by insurance carriers. These plans must meet federal requirements issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Each year, HHS updates the actuarial value (AV) calculator used for determining coverage levels. Changes may include costs, plan designs, populations, developments in the function and operation of the AV calculator and other actuarially relevant factors.

As a result of changes made to the federal AV calculator for 2020, the AV for the standard bronze and silver plans prescribed in OAR 836-053-0013 exceeded federal requirements. Failure to update the rule would result in DCBS requiring carriers to submit plans that are illegal with respect to federal law.

This year, HHS released the AV calculator later than in previous years. As a result, a permanent rulemaking would not have been completed in time for carriers to submit plans in May for review so a temporary rule was adopted. The department is now following the procedures to adopt this temporary rule into a permanent rule.

Filed: May 29, 2019

Public hearing: June 24, 2019, 10:00 a.m.

Last day for public comment: July 1, 2019, 5 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

Oregon — Cuts in Marijuana Production: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission says there is so much marijuana available in Oregon that it could take over six-years to smoke or eat it all. So five years after voters made it legal to use recreationally, the commission has been given more power by the Legislature to limit production.

Retail prices used to be about $10 a gram. As of the end of 2018 that figure was $5 per gram and falling. That means smaller producers were feeling the bite of competition more than large retailers.

To fix the problem limits will be implemented in the area of licenses and permits.

The Legislature’s bill also puts penalties on those tempted to put unsold pot onto the black market. When she signed the bill, Governor Kate Brown said, “The harsh reality is we have too much product on the market.”

Source link: Independent Record

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