California — California State Fund Dividend: Policyholders picking up work comp through the California State Compensation Insurance Fund will be getting a dividend. The State Fund said the dividend totals $105 million. That’s 15% of the annual premiums taken in by the State Fund and will total an average of about $1,400 per employer.
State Fund president and CEO Vern Steiner said to date there has been $662.5 million in premiums generated for 2019 and over $78.6 million in realized capital gains through July of this year.
“Declaring a dividend at this time helps tens of thousands of California businesses better understand their workers’ compensation insurance costs for the year and plan accordingly,” Steiner said. “Thanks to effective investment management and improved claims outcomes, we are in a strong, stable financial position and want to return money to our policyholders as quickly as possible.”
Payments should arrive by the second half of next year.
Source link: Insurance Journal
California — Work Comp Premium Drop: The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California has set a pure premium rate for 2020. The filing with the California Department of Insurance is 5.4% less than the average rate this year.
The average rate — if approved — will be $1.58 per $100 of payroll. It will be the 9th consecutive pure premium drop since 2015. The decrease from 2015 to 2020 is about 45%.
Source link: Insurance Journal
Idaho — Medicare Workshop: A free Medicare workshop for individuals turning 65 and those approaching Medicare eligibility will be held in Cottonwood on Wednesday, September 18th from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the Cottonwood Senior Center, 500 King Street. 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.
Montana — State ObamaCare Reinsurance Plan: Montana has a reinsurance plan now for ObamaCare recipients. It creates a pool of money — via a levy on insurance premiums — to help pay extremely high claims.
The federal government will pay $34 million of costs and the fees will generate $10 million. Under the program, once a person’s claims hit $40,000, the bills move into the reinsurance program.
Under the bill and agreed upon by the three companies that sell on the individual market — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, PacificSource and Montana Health Co-op — rates will drop in 2020 from 8% to 14%.
Governor Steve Bullock — who is, as you know, running for president — said he likes the idea. “We are taking action for the Montanans who purchase insurance on the individual marketplace and have been burdened by unaffordable health care costs due to federal inaction,” Bullock said. “The Montana reinsurance program will lower insurance premiums, make it possible for more Montanans to enroll by driving down costs, cultivate greater certainty in the market and protect consumer’s choices.”
Source link: Independent Record
Oregon — From the Department of Insurance: The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has released the lists of Oregon’s most expensive and most prescribed drugs, as well as the prescription drugs that cause the greatest increase to health insurance plan spending.
Brand-name drugs such as Humira and Enbrel, prescriptions commonly prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis, topped the lists of most expensive and greatest increase to plan spending. Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen, a pain reliever, was the most prescribed, along with several generic drugs treating conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
“These lists highlight the goal of the drug price transparency program,” said Andrew Stolfi, insurance commissioner. “They provide a first step to transparency for Oregonians, and help all of us better understand which prescription drugs affect health care costs.”
Each of Oregon’s nine insurance companies submitted the drug lists to the division, which reviewed and aggregated them to provide consumers a look at the common prescription drugs that have the biggest effect on health insurance costs.
The Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act (House Bill 4005), from the 2018 Legislative Session, established Oregon’s drug price transparency program. The new law requires prescription drug manufacturers and health insurance companies to report specific drug price information to the division.
Another key component to the program is consumer reporting of price increases. All Oregonians are encouraged to report an increase in the cost of their prescription drugs one of three ways:
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Call 833-210-4560 (toll-free)
• Visit dfr.oregon.gov/drugtransparency
The division is excited to bring one of the nation’s first prescription drug price transparency programs to Oregon. Top 25 lists and drug price information from manufacturers is now available by visiting dfr.oregon.gov/drugtransparency
Later this year, the division will also hold a public hearing and begin providing annual reports to the legislature based on all the information received from manufacturers, health insurers, and consumers.
Washington — From the Department of Insurance: Correction of Language in Essential health benefit WAC 284-43-5642(3)(b)(i) (R 2019-09) stakeholder draft posted
We released a stakeholder draft for the Correction of Language in Essential health benefit WAC 284-43-5642(3)(b)(i) rule (R 2019-09).
Please send comments by August 30, 2019 to the Rules Coordinator — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/contact-rules-coordinator?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
For more information, please visit the rule's web page — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/correction-language-essential-health-benefit-wac-284-43-56423bi-2019-09?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Affordable Care Act protections stakeholder draft posted
We released a stakeholder draft for the Affordable Care Act protections rule (R 2019-10).
We scheduled a stakeholder meeting to discuss the rule:
August 26, 2019, at 1:00 p.m.
OIC Tumwater office: 5000 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater WA 98501
Directions to the Tumwater office.
Call-in option: (360) 407-3780 PIN Code: 292878 #
Please submit comments by September 3, 2019 to the Rules Coordinator — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/contact-rules-coordinator?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
For more information, including the text of the stakeholder draft, please visit the rule's web page — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/contact-rules-coordinator?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
We have posted the notice consumers must receive from their insurers, providers and facilities/hospitals about their new protections from surprise billing. Details about how the notice will be distributed will be decided during rulemaking, currently underway.
Click this link to see: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/surprise-medical-billing?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=