Alaska — From the Division of Insurance: Fair Treatment of Consumers Following Wildfire Evacuation
Alaska has experienced an unprecedented wildfire season and consumers in some areas are 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 issues the following guidance to insurers:
Access to health care services and supplies is of concern to the Division as consumers may have evacuated from their homes with little notice and may not have access to their prescription drugs or other necessary medical supplies. As in previous emergencies, the division expects insurers to provide for early refills or replacements of lost or damaged medications and expects this flexibility to continue through the wildfire season. It is expected that insurers will allow affected consumers to obtain emergency supplies or refills without applying additional authorization requirements. In addition, consumers must be able to access their necessary prescriptions from a local retail pharmacy even if their prescription supply is normally provided by mail order without concern of a penalty.
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.
Bulletin B19-12: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/INS_B19-12.pdf
Idaho — Medicare Workshops in Coeur d’Alene & Lewiston: Free Medicare Workshops for individuals turning 65 and those approaching Medicare eligibility will be held:
Coeur d’Alene — Thursday, September 26th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Kroc Center, 1765 Golf Course Road
Lewiston — Thursday, September 26th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
The Community Action Partnership, 124 New 6th Street
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.
Everyone, including caregivers, interested in learning how Medicare works is encouraged to attend.
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 — Idaho Dept. of Insurance releases Post-Disaster Claims Guide: When it comes to risks in natural disasters and extreme weather, Idaho ranks low in the nation, but no state is immune to devastation.
Wildfires are the most prevalent natural disasters in Idaho and flooding is a close second. While flood season typically begins in the Spring and wildfire season starts around June, disasters can happen anywhere and at any time. The Department recently released its Post-Disaster Claims Guide Idahoans can use as a resource should the unexpected happen.
“We often hear from homeowners who did not realize they needed to protect themselves when a disaster occurs. Frankly, if it rains at your house you could see flooding and if you’ve seen lightning or have vegetation you could experience a wildfire,” said Department Director Dean Cameron. “We urge consumers to meet with their agent and review their coverage to make sure they have the protection they need.”
Should the unexpected occur, the Post-Disaster Claims Guide can assist you with the following:
• Safe and Sound – Make sure your family is safe. Then secure your belongings to prevent further damage.
• Report a Claim – Report the claim to your insurance company or agent.
• Estimate Damage – Work with your adjuster. If your personal belongings are damaged or destroyed, your adjuster will ask for a list of those items.
• Determine Coverage – The adjuster will help calculate the amount of damage to your home and property.
• Rebuild, Repair & Replace – Work with reputable contractors. Read and understand all contracts before signing. Avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
• Prepare – Start preparing now for you and your family for when the unexpected occurs.
For inquiries contact the Idaho Dept. of Insurance consumer hotline at (208) 334-4319.
Montana — A big Increase in Road Deaths: As of August 26th a scary 122 people have died on Montana highways and roads. Mike Tooley of the Montana Department of Transportation says the reasons are fairly consistent with past years. There are just more of them.
• Impaired driving
• Distracted driving
• Not using seatbelts
• Vehicles wandering off the road
“The increase in deaths from crashes this summer is alarming,” he said. “In recent years we have seen a positive trend with lower fatality and serious injury rates, but 2019 has been brutal. My hope is that people are taking traffic safety seriously and are being vigilant, no one wants to put their family and friends at risk.”
Source link: Billings Gazette
Oregon — From the Department of Insurance: Last year, wildfires burned more than 846,000 acres, and about 4,000 Oregonians had to evacuate their homes. The 2019 wildfire season is far from over, that means now is the time to help your friends, neighbors, and customers get prepared.
September is National Preparedness Month, and the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation is excited to announce Sept. 1-7 as Home Inventory Week.
To help Oregonians take active steps towards disaster preparedness, we are encouraging everyone to do two simple tasks:
1) Make a home inventory of all their personal property
2) Meet with an insurance agent to make sure they have the right coverage
Wildfire season proves the importance for all Oregonians to be ready for disaster. Building a home inventory and checking your insurance coverage are two of the most important aspects of a disaster readiness plan.
I am inviting you, as well as all other property and casualty insurance producers, to join us on this important initiative.
Here is how you can help:
• Lead by example. Complete your own home inventory and share the news of it with your family, friends, and customers on social media.
• Contact your customers to encourage their participation in Home Inventory Week.
• Place the enclosed poster in a prominent place in your office.
• Offer a small prize to people who complete their inventory and talk to you about their insurance needs. Keep in mind that prizes cannot be contingent on a sale.
• Visit the division's website - dfr.oregon.gov/preparenow<http://links.govdelivery.com:80/track?
Oregon — Special Session: Governor Kate Brown released the following statement calling for a special session regarding ambiguity around Senate Bill 1013:
“Based on the clarification by the Oregon Department of Justice, it is clear there is a misunderstanding about the intent of the words in Senate Bill 1013. Given the seriousness of the issues that we’re dealing with and the impact on victims and their families, I think it’s critically important that there be clarity about the law.
"I will support a statutory fix to address the misunderstanding regarding the bill’s retroactivity. I’ve spoken to Senator Prozanski and I’m willing to support a special session. I expect legislators to work with stakeholders and legislators across the aisle and around the state to craft the language and get the votes. Should that be accomplished, I will call a special session before the end of September, and the session needs to be focused on this narrow issue.”
Washington — From the Department of Insurance: Surprise billing - status update on development of dataset
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 meeting is an overview of the development of the dataset for surprise billing and will be held Thurs., Sept. 26 from 9-11 a.m. at the Helen Sommers Bldg., in Olympia. 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