Alaska — From the Division of Insurance: Notice of Proposed Changes on Credit for Reinsurance, Internal Audit Functions, Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure, and Medicare Supplement Insurance in the Regulations of the Division of Insurance
Additional: Accreditation Regulations – Additional Regulations Notice Information (AS 44.62.190(d))
The Division of Insurance proposes to change regulations on Credit for Reinsurance and Audit Committees based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Credit for Reinsurance Model Regulations 786, Annual Financial Reporting Model Regulations 205, Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Regulations 306, and based on changes from the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (“MACRA”).
You may comment on the proposed regulations changes, including the potential costs to private persons of complying with the proposed changes, by submitting written comments to the Division of Insurance; Attention: David Phifer; 550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1560, Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3567; by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or by fax to (907) 269-7910, and by electronic mail at email@example.com. Comments may also be submitted through the Alaska Online Public Notice System, by accessing this notice on the system and using the comment link. The comments must be received no later than 5:00pm on September 28, 2019.
Oral or written comments also may be submitted at a hearing to be held on September 18, 2019, in Conference Room 1560, at the Atwood Building, 550 West Seventh Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska and in Conference Room B on the ninth floor of the State Office Building, located at 333 Willoughby Ave., Juneau, Alaska. The hearing will be held from 3 PM to 4 PM and might be extended to accommodate those present before 4 PM who did not have an opportunity to comment. If you are unable to attend the meeting in person and would like to participate by teleconference, please call 1-800-315-6338 and enter the access code 42070 followed by #.
You may submit written questions relevant to the proposed action to the Division of Insurance; Attention: David Phifer; 550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1560, Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3567. The questions must be received at least 10 days before the end of the public comment period. The Division of Insurance will aggregate its response to substantially similar questions and make the questions and responses available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System and agency website.
If you are a person with a disability who needs a special accommodation in order to participate in this process, please contact Sian Ng-Ashcraft at firstname.lastname@example.org or (907) 269-7892 not later than September 8, 2019, to ensure that any necessary accommodations can be provided.
A copy of the proposed regulations changes is available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System and is available on the division's website at https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/ins/Resources/Notices.aspx and by contacting Jackson Willard at email@example.com.
A copy of material proposed for adoption by reference is available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System or though the Division of Insurance’s website.
After the public comment period ends, the Division of Insurance will either adopt the proposed regulation changes or other provisions dealing with the same subject, without further notice, or decide to take no action. The language of the final regulation may be different from that of the proposed regulation. You should comment during the time allowed if your interests could be affected. Written comments received are public records and are subject to public inspection.
Additional Notice Information: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/INS_Notice_Addtl_2019.08.pdf
Regulatory Order R19-03: Order Exempting Air Ambulance Membership Agreements from the Filing Requirements of AS 21.42.120
The Director of the Division of Insurance Hereby Orders:
An air ambulance membership agreement covering Alaska residents is exempt from the filing requirements of AS 21.42.120 until further notice. This exemption applies to air ambulance membership agreements issued by air ambulance service providers specified in AS 21.61. The exemption does not apply to insurance for medevac coverage through an insurer or entity other than an air ambulance service provider. This exemption is not applicable to the registration requirements under 3 AAC 31.600 – 3 AAC 31.690.
Nothing in this order may be construed to prevent the director from requiring a form that is otherwise exempt from filing under this order to be filed with the director.
Any filings currently under review on the date this order is effective are not subject to filing and will be returned.
Regulatory Order R19-03: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/INS_R19-03.pdf
Bulletin B19-10: Rate, Rule, and Form Filing Procedures and Effective Dates (supersedes bulletins B05-09 and B95-03 as they relate to property, casualty, and title insurance.)
To: Admitted Insurers Writing Property and Casualty or Title Business in the State of Alaska and other Interested Parties
This bulletin provides guidance related to filing requirements for certain rate, rule, and form filings; it is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be an exhaustive interpretive analysis of all applicable statutes or regulations. Please review Alaska’s insurance laws in their entirety to assure your compliance when submitting rate, rule, and form filings in this state.
This bulletin applies to rate and rule filings that are required to be filed per Alaska Statute (AS) 21.39.040 or AS 21.66.370 and form filings required to be filed per AS 21.42.120 (for kinds of insurance identified in AS 21.12.060 through 110) or AS 21.66.450, except it does not apply to:
Workers compensation filings that are subject to AS 21.39.043.
Title rate filings that are subject to AS 21.66.370(e).
Filings containing rates, rules, or forms that will be issued only to commercial risks that meet the definition and eligibility in regulation 3 AAC 29.545. (See AS 21.39.040(k) and AS 21.42.120(a), 3 AAC 29.500-550, and B05-06)
Filings subject to Orders issued under AS 21.39.040(f) or AS 21.42.120(d) or to any regulations that specifically alter the filing requirements to the extent those Orders or regulations conflict with the guidance and interpretation in this Bulletin.
Regulations applicable to filing procedures for Forms, Rates, Manuals, Rating Plans, and Rules are in regulations 3 AAC 31.200 – 299. Presently, additional information regarding filing procedure requirements can also be found within the instructions and rules in SERFF and the Rate & Form Filing section of our website.
If you have questions regarding this bulletin, please contact the Division of Insurance, P.O. Box 110805, Juneau, AK 99811-0805; (907) 465-2515; or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bulletin B19-10: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/INS_B19-10.pdf
Bulletin B19-11: NIPR Mobile App: All of your insurance licensing information at your fingertips
In June of 2018, the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) released their new mobile application, “NIPR Mobile”. NIPR Mobile utilizes NIPR’s Producer Database (PDB) to provide all of your insurance licensing information directly to your mobile device.
Now, any Alaska licensee can use the app to view your license number, license expiration date, lines of authority, name and address information on file with the Division of Insurance, as well as other license details. You can even subscribe to receive renewal notification reminders directly to your mobile device.
NIPR Mobile can be downloaded for free by searching for “NIPR Mobile” in the Apple or Google Play App Store.
You can learn more about NIPR Mobile at: nipr.com/nipr_mobile.htm
If you have any other licensing questions, please contact the Alaska Division of Insurance by telephone at (907) 465-2515, or online at: insurance.Alaska.Gov
Bulletin B19-11: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/INS_B19-11.pdf
California — The 20-year Battle with Mercury Insurance Concludes: The California Supreme Court denied a petition for review by Mercury Insurance Company thereby letting stand a $27.6 million fine the Department of Insurance imposed on Mercury for charging illegal fees in violation of Proposition 103. The fine is the largest in the Department’s history against a property and casualty insurer.
In 2015, the Commissioner fined Mercury $27.6 million for charging consumers unapproved and unfairly discriminatory rates. Despite being advised for years by the Department of Insurance not to do so, Mercury continued to allow its auto insurance agents to charge consumers $50 to $150 in illegal fees on top of the premium the Department approved. Proposition 103, passed by the voters in 1988, prevents auto insurers from charging excessive rates and requires that rates be approved by the Commissioner.
“Since Proposition 103 was enacted, Mercury has looked for ways to evade the Insurance Commissioner’s regulation of its rates,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “The Department repeatedly told Mercury to stop this scheme, where Mercury implied its agents were brokers working for the consumers, but Mercury refused to do so. This is a victory for consumers that sends a message to insurers that they cannot circumvent Proposition 103’s consumer protection laws in an effort to increase their profits and that the Department will stay the course -- even if it takes twenty years -- to penalize insurers for illegal conduct.”
Under the scheme, Mercury illegally labeled its “agents” as “brokers,” implying that they worked for the consumers rather than Mercury, and allowed them to charge and collect unapproved fees on more than 180,000 transactions from 1999 to 2004, improperly collecting at least $27,593,562 from consumers. The scheme created a major incentive for Auto Insurance Specialists (AIS), Mercury’s largest independent agent, to place virtually all of its policies with Mercury to the exclusion of other insurers, and resulted in different Mercury customers paying different amounts for the same policy, depending on what the agent charged in fees.
During this time, AIS placed approximately 90 of its California automobile business with Mercury, nearly doubling the placed premium from $225 million in 1999 to $400 million in 2003 and 2004, premium that other insurers might have received if Mercury had complied with the law.
“Part of my responsibility as Insurance Commissioner is to ensure a vibrant insurance marketplace which requires all companies to obey the rating laws so no company gets an unfair advantage over the others. And here that advantage came at the expense of consumers who were charged unfairly discriminatory rates for their insurance,” added Commissioner Lara.
Oregon — FEMA NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM - INSURANCE AGENT TRAINING WORKSHOPS Offered In collaboration with DLCD and the City of Newport
Lincoln County and incorporated communities have new FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps that will take effect on October 18, 2019. As a result of these new maps taking effect, many residents may reach out to local insurance agents, for information regarding flood insurance. Flood Insurance is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and through some private insurance companies. DLCD and FEMA Region X are holding flood insurance workshops for local insurance agents and other interested parties on August 27, 2019, in Newport Oregon, to assist local agents by providing NFIP training.
Scott Van Hoff, Senior Flood Insurance Specialist for FEMA Region X, will be presenting information on the National Flood Insurance Program via two separate insurance workshops, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each workshop will last for two hours and the same information will be covered at both (agents only need to attend one of the two workshops), for more details see the schedule below. There will also be an opportunity for agents to drop-in and ask questions or discuss matters informally between the two sessions.
TOPICS TO BE COVERED
The following topics will be covered at each of the two (2) hour flood insurance workshops:
• What changes in FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) means for insurance agents
• Writing Flood Insurance Policies
• Identifying the most beneficial premium/coverage
• Grandfathering policies
• Newly mapped policies
• Determining the lowest floor
• Type of rating with an Elevation Certificate and without an Elevation Certificate
All of these topics will be covered during each of the two sessions. So pick the session that works best for you and come learn more.
DATE, LOCATION, SCHEDULE & CONTACT
Date: August 27, 2019
Location: City of Newport Council Chambers, Newport City Hall, 169 SW Coast Hwy, Newport, OR 97365
Flood Insurance Workshop A*: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Drop-in Informal Question/Answer time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (Noon)
Flood Insurance Workshop B*: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
*Please note, the same information will be covered at each of the two workshops, so each participant need only attend one workshop.
Celinda Adair, NFIP Coordinator, OR DLCD, email@example.com, 503-934-0069
Lisa Phipps, North Coast Regional Representative, OR DLCD, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oregon — 2019-20 Partner Agent Grantees have been Selected: Congratulations to the following agencies, which have been selected to participate in the 2019-20 Partner Agent Program for plan year 2020. These agencies have been awarded grants to help the Marketplace serve communities throughout the state, reaching and enrolling Oregonians in coverage.
Grantees were judged on multiple criteria, including their demonstrated ties to community networks, ability to reach underserved populations, and capacity to serve consumers whether they are eligible for HealthCare.gov plans or other programs, such as the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare.
Aaron Burns Insurance , Eugene
Abel Insurance, Newport, Florence, Coos Bay and Gold Beach
Bancorp Insurance, La Pine
Boone Insurance Associates, Eugene
Cascade Insurance Center, Bend
Chehalem Insurance, Newberg
Country Insurance, Sisters
FG Insurance, Portland, Forest Grove
Gordon Wood Insurance, Roseburg
Grace Insurance, Portland
Hagan Hamilton, McMinnville, Newberg, Junction City, Sheridan
HE Cross Company, Portland
Health Insurance Place, Grants Pass
Health Plans in Oregon, Portland, Beaverton
Healthwise Insurance, Portland, Beaverton
Healthy, Wealthy & Wise, Tualatin, Tigard
High Desert Insurance, Bend
Hillock Insurance Agency, Enterprise
Hudson Insurance, Tillamook
iCover Oregon, Albany
Insurance Lounge, Medford, Grants Pass, Portland
Insurance Marketplace, Medford
Klamath Financial Group, Klamath Falls
Linda Dugan Insurance, Astoria
Matthew Woodbridge, Salem and Woodburn
Pacific View Financial, Salem
Pfaff-Karren Insurance, Independence, Monmouth
Premier NW Insurance, Oregon City, Salem, Sandy
RJS & Associates, Philomath, Corvallis
Strategic Planning and Insurance, Hood River, The Dalles
Tomlin Benefit Planning, Eugene
Valley Insurance, LaGrande
WHA Insurance Agency, Wilsonville
CMS Plan Year 2020 Registration and Training is live
If you have not already done so, please complete the plan year 2020 agent registration and training at your earliest convenience. Agents and brokers must access training via the CMS Enterprise Portal. Log in to the CMS Enterprise Portal or create an account to get started.
When you have completed the training you can confirm your registration using the Registration Completion List.
For assistance with registration and training, contact the Agent/Broker Email Help Desk at FFMProducer-AssisterHelpDesk@cms.hhs.gov.
Medicare agent listings on our "Find local help" locator tool
Many Oregon insurance agents are listed in the "find help" directory on OregonHealthCare.gov. If you want yourself listed as a Medicare agent in the directory, follow the process listed here. The process includes submitting specific documentation and participating in a short webinar and test.
Being designated a Medicare agent in the directory is optional, so only those agents choosing that type of listing are required to participate in the Medicare process. If you do not participate, however, your listing on the locator tool will say nothing about Medicare assistance.
Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace
Washington — Motorcycle Insurance: Motorcyclists are now required to carry liability insurance. That requirement took effect on July 28th and now leaves just three that no longer let motorcyclists go without liability insurance. Those three states are Florida, New Hampshire and Montana.
Those with motorcycles, scooters, mopeds and speciality horseless carriages at least 40-years old are still exempt.
Source link: Chinook Observer
Washington — From the Office of the Commissioner: Revise WACS concerning SERFF General Filing Instructions stakeholder draft posted
We released a stakeholder draft for the Revise WACS concerning SERFF General Filing Instructions rule (R 2019-06).
We scheduled a stakeholder meeting to discuss the rule:
When: August 30, 2019, at 3:00 p.m.
Where: OIC Tumwater office - 5000 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater WA 98501
Directions to the Tumwater office.
There is no call-in option.
Please submit comments by August 30 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 webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/revise-wacs-concerning-serff-general-filing-instructions-r2019-06?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Technical Corrections for Producer Accounting Systems stakeholder draft posted
We released a stakeholder draft for the Technical Corrections for Producer Accounting Systems rule (R 2019-08).
Comments on the stakeholder draft are due August 23, 2019; please send them 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 webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/technical-corrections-producer-accounting-systems-r-2019-08?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Balance Billing Protection Act implementation -- arbitrators
Section 8 of the Balance Billing Protection Act (Chapter 427, Laws of 2019) directs the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) to develop a list of approved arbitrators or entities that provide arbitration for use by parties involved in balance billing disputes. The act calls for arbitrators to preside over disputes between health care providers, facilities and carriers.
OIC is seeking stakeholder input on the minimum qualifications of arbitrators for inclusion on the OIC list, and the processes to implement section 8 of the act.
Please submit comments by Aug. 30 to the OIC 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 Surprise Medical Billing web page — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/surprise-medical-billing?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=