Alaska — Fair Treatment of Consumers Following Wildfire Evacuation: Alaska experienced an unprecedented wildfire season and consumers in some areas were under mandatory evacuation orders. Based on the authority given to the Director of Insurance during an emergency under AS 21.06.080(d), the division issued guidance to insurers regarding the treatment of prescription drug or medical supplies. The guidance required early refills and replacements of lost or damaged medication throughout the wildfire season without additional authorization and a relaxation of network requirements.
At this time, the wildfire season is coming to a close, and it appears that civilian evacuations have ceased sufficiently to render the guidance issued in Bulletin B 19-12 no longer necessary. As of September 24, 2019, insurers may resume applying standard cost shares, and authorization and network requirements for prescription drug coverage.
Bulletin B 19-14 supersedes Bulletin B 19-12
If you have any questions relating to this bulletin, please contact Sarah Bailey, Life and Health Section Supervisor at email@example.com or (907) 465-4608.
Here is Bulletin B19-14: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/INS_B19-14.pdf
Idaho — Medicare Workshop: A free Medicare workshop for individuals turning 65 and those approaching Medicare eligibility will be held in Post Falls on Thursday, October 10th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Real Life Ministries, 1866 N. Cecil Rd, Post Falls, ID 83854. Everyone, including caregivers, interested in learning how Medicare works is encouraged to attend.
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 — Medicare enrollment begins October 15: The Medicare Annual Enrollment period begins October 15th and ends December 7th.
People with Medicare looking to make changes to existing Prescription Drug or Medicare Advantage plans, or those seeking to enroll in new plans in Idaho can do so during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period, October 15 through December 7.
Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) from the Idaho Department of insurance are available statewide to meet with Medicare beneficiaries and those eligible to join the federal health care program. SHIBA representatives can provide free Medicare information, including reviewing Medicare coverage options.
“Medicare can be confusing. However, Idaho consumers have options for plans that best fit their medical needs,” said Director Dean Cameron. “I strongly encourage consumers to seek guidance from our SHIBA representatives and a licensed agent.”
SHIBA offers information on Medicare Open Enrollment, including a calendar of events offered statewide where Medicare counselors will be available to provide assistance during the Open Enrolment period.
Call toll free (800) 247-4422 to make an appointment or to speak with a SHIBA counselor.
Oregon — From the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation: Proposed Rulemaking Hearing: Relating to the licensing of insurance adjusters and insurance consultants
The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation recently announced the following Proposed Rulemaking hearing:
Relating to the licensing of insurance adjusters and insurance consultants
Rules affected: OAR 836-071-0101, 836-071-0113, 836-071-0118, 836-071-0120, 836-071-0127, 836-071-0130, 836-071-0135, 836-071-0140, 836-071-0145
Need for Rules:
Senate Bill 251 (2019) repealed the insurance adjuster and insurance consultant licensing provisions that were commingled in ORS Chapter 744, and separately re-enacted such statutory provisions. Rulemaking is necessary to implement such re-enacted provisions – which now mandate that the form and manner of application for adjuster and consultant licensing, and for issuance of a temporary adjuster permit, be specified by rule, and that the examinations that are acceptable for purpose of licensing be recognized by rule.
The proposed rulemaking will amend the current rules to specify the form and manner of making application for an adjuster or consultant license, or for a temporary adjuster permit, and recognize certain examinations as adequately testing applicant qualifications, competence and knowledge. The rulemaking will also make technical corrections to the rules, by substituting reference to the 2019 Session Laws for the statutory provisions that have been repealed and re-enacted in such Session Laws.
Filed: September 26, 2019
Public hearing: October 22, 2019, 1:30 p.m.
Last day for public comment: October 29, 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: http://links.govdelivery.com:80/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0mYXVpZD0mbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTkwOTI3LjEwNzg3NzMxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE5MDkyNy4xMDc4NzczMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE2NzkzODQ0JmVtYWlsaWQ9c3Vlc0BwaWF3ZXN0LmNvbSZ1c2VyaWQ9c3Vlc0BwaWF3ZXN0LmNvbSZ0YXJnZXRpZD0mZmw9Jm12aWQ9JmV4dHJhPSYmJg==&&&101&&&https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/proposed-rules.aspx
The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation recently announced the following Proposed Rulemaking hearing: Amendment to Custodial Agreement Rules
Rules affected: OAR 836-027-0200
Need for Rules:
Oregon Revised Statute 731.574(6) requires DCBS to maintain NAIC accreditation, and uphold the laws and standards of the accreditation. Oregon Administrative Rule 836-027-0200 requires insurance companies to have any investment assets that are not in their direct possession to be held in a bank or trust company. The insurance company has to enter into an agreement with the bank or trust that will provide certain requirements of the banks and trust to protect the assets, which is the custodial agreement.
The existing rule provides for minimum standards in the custodial agreement that protect the assets for the insurance company. The rule also indemnifies the insurers for any loss of the insurers’ securities, allows for examinations of the records and sets parameters on the timing for indemnification. The rule requires contracts if the custodian accesses a clearing corporation through an agent and requires the custodian to notify DCBS of termination of the agreement within three days of the termination. The NAIC accreditation program states that department’s policies and procedures for the conduct of examinations should generally follow those set forth in the Financial Condition Examiners Handbook. This proposed rule language is in the Handbook and by adopting it, we will be strengthening our level of oversight and maintaining compliance with NAIC standards, while enhancing the financial protection of the Oregon Insurance industry.
Filed: September 25, 2019
Public hearing: October 22, 2019, 11:00 a.m.
More information is on this link: http://links.govdelivery.com:80/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0mYXVpZD0mbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTkwOTI3LjEwNzg1NjIxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE5MDkyNy4xMDc4NTYyMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE2NzkzODMyJmVtYWlsaWQ9c3Vlc0BwaWF3ZXN0LmNvbSZ1c2VyaWQ9c3Vlc0BwaWF3ZXN0LmNvbSZ0YXJnZXRpZD0mZmw9Jm12aWQ9JmV4dHJhPSYmJg==&&&100&&&https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/Proposed/custodial-agreement-rules-notice.pdf
Last day for public comment: October 29, 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: http://links.govdelivery.com:80/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0mYXVpZD0mbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTkwOTI3LjEwNzg1NjIxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE5MDkyNy4xMDc4NTYyMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE2NzkzODMyJmVtYWlsaWQ9c3Vlc0BwaWF3ZXN0LmNvbSZ1c2VyaWQ9c3Vlc0BwaWF3ZXN0LmNvbSZ0YXJnZXRpZD0mZmw9Jm12aWQ9JmV4dHJhPSYmJg==&&&101&&&https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/proposed-rules.aspx
Arbitration Clauses, Choice of Law, and Choice of Venue Provisions in Insurance Policies
The Division of Financial Regulation is preparing to issue a bulletin regarding the use of arbitration clauses in insurance contracts. The division requests feedback from all stakeholders on the attached guidance. Please submit all comments to raven.V.Collins@oregon.gov.
The purpose of this bulletin is to remind insurers of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) Division of Financial Regulation’s (DFR) policy with regards to pre-dispute mandatory arbitration clauses, choice of law provisions, and choice of venue provisions in insurance policies.
Draft Bulletin: Arbitration Clauses
Last day for public comment: Friday, October 11, 2019
dfr-20190919-draft.pdf — https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/Bulletins/proposed/dfr-20190919-draft.pdf
Washington — Alaska Airlines Fine: Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler ordered ASA Assurance Inc., a captive insurer for Alaska Air Group, to pay more than $2.5 million in unpaid premium tax and penalties owed to Washington state for the unauthorized sale of insurance.
ASA Assurance is a captive insurance company formed by Alaska Air Group for the purpose of insuring its risk in states including Washington . It issued four policies for Alaska Air Group and its subsidiaries, Alaska Airlines, Inc., Horizon Air Industries, Inc., and McGee Air Services, Inc., collecting $91 million in premiums. ASA is not admitted to sell insurance in Washington state.
A captive insurer is an insurance company established by a parent company for the purpose of insuring its risk. State law requires insurance companies to pay a 2% tax based on their written premiums. The tax revenue is sent to the state general fund to pay for government operations. ASA paid no premium tax on the insurance it unlawfully sold.
Washington state does not currently license captive insurers. Companies must buy insurance from either an admitted insurer or through a licensed surplus line broker and they must pay premium tax on the insurance they buy.
Kreidler determined in December 2018 that many large Washington companies are using captives to purchase their own insurance and failing to pay premium tax. His office is working to identify all captives doing business in Washington state. To date, nine captives have self-reported and two captives have paid $2.9 million in unpaid premium taxes and $1.4 million in fines, tax penalties and interest.
Kreidler reached a settlement of $876,820 with Cypress, a captive insurer for Microsoft Corp., in August 2018.
Kreidler reached a settlement with NW Re Limited, captive insurer for Costco Wholesale Corp., on March 8. It paid $3.6 million in premium taxes, tax penalties, interest and fines.
ASA Assurance, domiciled in Honolulu, Hawaii, has demanded a hearing before an administrative law judge. A prehearing telephone conference has been scheduled for Sept. 30.
Source link: Washington Department of Insurance
Washington — From the Department of Insurance: Balance Billing Protection Act Implementation – Applicability of the Law to Health Plans
The Balance Billing Protection Act requires that health care providers have a way to determine whether a patient's health insurance plan is subject to the requirements of the act. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the federal government has established "standard transactions" for how health care providers communicate with insurers. The OIC is proposing that the requirement of the act be accomplished through the HIPAA transaction known as the X12 271 Eligibility and Benefits Response Transaction. OneHealthPort, the organization that has the lead in Washington State on health insurance administrative simplification, would develop the details around the use of that standard transaction after consulting with the Washington State Administrative Simplification Business & Technology Workgroup comprised of insurers and health care providers. OneHealthPort is seeking comments on the draft.
Comments are due October 10, 2019; please send them to OneHealthPort at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, the draft has been posted on the OneHealthPort website.
Rescheduled - status update on development of dataset
The commissioner says thank you for your interest in surprise billing and the Balance Billing Protection Act. The Office of Financial Management is holding two stakeholder meetings on the dataset that will be used once the new law takes effect.
The first stakeholder meeting on the development of the dataset for the Balance Billing Protection Act is has been rescheduled to allow more time for the work group to complete its work. The meeting will be Oct. 9 from 9-11 a.m. at the Helen Sommers Building, 106 11th Ave SW, Olympia – Room G015C
Call in option:
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/2303203875
Conference line: +1 669 900 6833
Meeting ID: 230 320 3875
One tap mobile: +16699006833,,2303203875#
The second meeting is a training on the dataset and takes place Nov. 1 from 9-11 a.m. Location will be announced soon.
For more information about the background and progress of the dateset, read the status report — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/status-report-dataset-for-balance-billing-protection-act.pdf?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
For more information, please contact Thea Mounts at OFM at either (360) 9020552 or thea.Mounts@ofm.wa.gov