Work Comp Pure Premium: The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) has submitted a new pure premium rate and one that is lower than the one approved last year by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
This one will — if approved — go into effect January 1, 2019. It will average $1.70 per $100 of payroll. That is eight-cents or 4.5% less than the average approved for this year on July 1st.
Source link: Insurance Journal
Cannabis Coverage: Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones approved a filing from Golden Bear Insurance Company amending its California Cannabis program product to lower rates, expand coverage options, and expand the classes of business they will cover.
"Golden Bear continues to lead the industry by being the first to offer coverage for cannabis businesses and now by expanding their coverage choices at lower prices," said Commissioner Jones. "Cannabis businesses and consumers will benefit from the new and expanding coverage options and lower rates."
Last November Insurance Commissioner Jones approved a Golden Bear filing making the company the first admitted commercial insurance carrier to file cannabis business insurance in the state. Since then, the department has approved five additional insurance companies to write cannabis-related insurance products in the California market.
"We are very excited to roll out Equipment Breakdown coverage among other new coverages to our Cannabis package policy," said Michael Brown Vice president and Underwriting Property Manager at Golden Bear. "This additional endorsement will provide our insureds with vital coverage for losses to inventory and income caused by the failure of refrigeration equipment, HVAC equipment, and manufacturing equipment so important to the cannabis industry. This coverage enhancement provides Golden Bear insureds with even more peace of mind as they operate their businesses.
Earlier this month, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) established a Cannabis Insurance Working Group to address the issue of insurance availability for the legalized cannabis industry. Recognizing Jones' leadership on the issue, the NAIC appointed the California commissioner chair of the NAIC Cannabis Insurance Working Group.
Jones has convened meetings between commercial insurance company executives and cannabis business owners to educate the insurance industry about the sophistication, professionalism and risk management of the cannabis industry. Jones has also organized tours for insurance executives at cannabis businesses.
In October of last year, Jones held a first-in-the-nation public hearing to identify insurance gaps faced by the cannabis industry. Cannabis businesses and insurance industry representatives testified about the limited availability of insurance for cannabis businesses. The hearing revealed that while there is insurance available from surplus lines insurers, insurance gaps in coverage remain, and, until the approval announced last November, no admitted insurance carriers were offering insurance products to cannabis businesses. Jones also announced that he has directed Department staff to devote the resources necessary to timely review cannabis products and rate filings.
In May, Commissioner Jones hosted a webinar titled "Weeding through the Unique Insurance Needs of the Cannabis Industry" with the NAIC Center for Insurance Policy and Research. In April, Jones renewed his call for insurers to offer insurance products for California's legalized cannabis industry in the wake of published reports that President Trump has overruled Attorney General Jeff Sessions' policy on federal law enforcement against state legalized cannabis. Jones sent a formal letter to California insurers encouraging them to fill insurance gaps for California's cannabis businesses.
Commissioner Approves Insuretech: New technology is revolutionizing many lines of insurance-the latest to benefit is title insurance, as California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones approves a license for States Title. States Title is the first insurtech title insurer licensed and domiciled in California. States Title is replacing a manual and labor-intensive process of writing title insurance which often involves days of waiting, with an automated data-driven approach, which should lead to reduced wait times, modernized title insurance transactions, increased competition, and reduced costs for home buyers and others in need of title insurance.
"California consumers benefit when new competitors enter our insurance market and they use technology to provide more efficient services at a lower cost," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "I am pleased to approve a license for States Title to not only sell title insurance in California but also to be domiciled here. Title insurance transactions are often labor intensive and suffer from delays-States Title uses a digital platform which is data driven and automates the process which in turn should bring benefits for consumers."
States Title Insurance Company of California will use data-driven technology to predict the risk and severity of a title defect on a particular property, aiming to deliver title insurance more efficiently and at lower costs.
"We are incredibly pleased to be doing business in the state of California," said States Title CEO Max Simkoff. "We look forward to bringing much-needed innovation and efficiency to the title insurance industry, as well as top-notch service to our customers."
The Silicon Valley start-up is domiciled in California with its first office located in San Francisco's Mission District improvement zone.
Medicare workshop to be offered in Salmon: A free Medicare Workshop for individuals turning 65 and those approaching Medicare eligibility will be held Thursday, September 6, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Salmon Public Library, located at 300 Main St., Salmon, Idaho. Caregivers and all those interested in learning how Medicare works are encouraged to attend.
The workshop will be led by Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA), a unit of the Idaho Department of Insurance. SHIBA presenters will introduce the various parts of Medicare and explain some of the vocabulary associated with the program. Topics to be covered include:
• Timeframes for enrolling in Medicare
• Enrollment periods for Medigap, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans
• How the different parts of Medicare work together – and when they don’t
To register for the workshop, please contact the SHIBA office at 1-800-247-4422.
ObamaCare Rates Approved and Finalized: Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale announced that 2019 Obamacare individual and small group market health insurance rates are finalized following the Montana rate review process.
Finalized overall average rate changes are nearly identical to the rates initially filed with the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, Office of the Montana State Auditor (CSI) in June.
Commissioner Rosendale sent letters to the companies earlier today informing them that their 2019 rate filings contain no deficiencies in accordance with 33-22-157, MCA. Under Montana law, the commissioner’s office reviews rate changes for accuracy and justification, but CSI can’t set the prices and cannot reject rates unless they are unfairly discriminatory. Companies set their rates based on market conditions and mandates contained within the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
Final overall average rate changes for 2019 are as follows:
• Blue Cross: 0.0% for plans covering about 18,900 Montanans
• PacificSource: 6.0% for plans covering about 12,400 Montanans
• Montana Health CO-OP: 10.3% for plans covering about 22,700 Montanans
Small Group market
• Blue Cross: -4.2% (decrease) for plans covering about 25,000 Montanans
• PacificSource: 1.8% for plans covering about 19,300 Montanans
• Health CO-OP: 4.7% for plans covering about 250 Montanans
As part of the rate review process, CSI solicited formal public comment from Montanans. CSI received no public comments for 2019 rate changes.
Open enrollment for 2019 Obamacare health plans will begin on November 1, 2018 and run through December 15, 2018.
More information on 2019 rate changes and the rate review process can be found HERE.
State Liable for 2017 Wildfire: The Nevada Division of Forestry has been found at fault for the loss of 23 homes and 17 other buildings from a wildfire in 2016. The jury deciding the case said the supposedly controlled burn got out of control because of state negligence.
The state said it was an unfortunate accident.
Source link: Insurance Journal
Federal Government Grant: Washington is one of 30 states plus the District of Columbia to receive a portion of an $8.6 million grant awarded through the State Flexibility to Stabilize the Market program created under the federal Affordable Care Act.
Washington received $284,135 of the total grant funding. Our state chose to focus the use of the funding to bolster access to mental health and addiction treatment services.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler applied for the grant to conduct a thorough analysis of whether health insurers in Washington offer comprehensive and affordable health coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatments. Under the grant, his office will study health plan benefit design, insurers’ policies and procedures for coverage of these services, and claims data.
“This grant will help us do the research needed to uncover any barriers to behavioral health services that may exist for Washington consumers,” said Kreidler. “We are committed to doing our part to fight the opioid crisis facing many communities today. If changes are needed to improve insurance coverage for people, this grant will help inform our work and the efforts we’re taking as a state.”
“To save lives and make an impact on the opioid crisis, state and local government agencies will need to work together,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “I am grateful to Commissioner Kreidler for his efforts to ensure that individuals and families have access to mental health and addiction resources. If we want to end this crisis, we need to break down all treatment barriers people may face, and insurance coverage is critical.”
Kreidler’s office intends to form an advisory committee of consumers, medical and behavioral health providers and insurers to begin work this fall. The project will include two phases:
Phase one: Create and issue two successive market scans that will be used to identify any barriers, including access barriers, to mental health and substance use disorder treatment services. The project will also contract with a consultant to review insurers’ medical necessity and prior authorization criteria and procedures related to selected behavioral health services.
Phase two: Conduct more detailed claims analysis, informed by the results of the market scans, using All Payer Claims Database data as well as supplemental substance use disorder and denied claims data.
Analysis of the data will reveal if there are any coverage gaps or disparities in how behavioral health is covered compared to other health services and identify possible solutions.
Any issues uncovered during the data collection and Kreidler's recommendations will be part of a detailed report produced at the end of the two-year grant.
New Chief Deputy Commissioner: Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler announced that AnnaLisa Gellermann will serve as the agency’s new chief deputy commissioner beginning Aug. 27.
Gellerman is currently the deputy commissioner for the Policy and Legislative Affairs division. She joined the Office of Insurance Commissioner in 2013 as the deputy commissioner for Legal Affairs.
She previously served as an executive manager of Insurance Services at the Washington state Department of Labor and Industries beginning in 2007. She managed Legal Services, Return to Work Services, Policy, and Pension programs. She also supervised the Self-Insured Program, overseeing regulation of almost 400 of the largest companies in the state that self-insure for workers’ compensation coverage.
Gellermann began state service in 1999 as an assistant attorney general in the Washington state Office of the Attorney General. She earned her law degree from Seattle University.
“AnnaLisa has a wide range of knowledge and experience that will serve the consumers in our state well,” Kreidler said. “She’s also crafted an excellent working relationship with the industry and our legislative partners. I have every confidence in her ability to honor our mission to protect consumers and regulate the insurance industry in Washington fairly and efficiently.”
From the Department of Insurance: Proposed rule posted: Short-term medical plans
We have released the proposed rule language on R 2018-01. In response to federal rulemaking related to short-term limited duration health insurance, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner is clarifying its standards and processes for short-term limited duration medical plans offered or sold to Washington consumers.
We have scheduled a public hearing on the rule:
When: September 26, 2018, at 1:00 p.m.
Where: 5000 Capitol Blvd. SE, Tumwater WA, 98501
Comments on the proposed rule language are due September 24, 2018; please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, including the proposed rule language (CR-102), please visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/short-term-medical-plans-r-2018-01?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Notice of rulemaking: Adverse notifications
We are starting rulemaking R 2018-09 to increase consumer awareness of agency help for consumers with their insurance-related questions as well as to promote fair and efficient regulation of insurance by requiring contact information for the Office of the Insurance Commissioner on adverse notifications sent by insurers.
Comments are due September 13, 2018.; please send them to email@example.com.
For more information, including the notice to start rulemaking (CR-101), please visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/adverse-notifications-r-2018-09?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Notice of rulemaking on health plan coverage of reproductive healthcare and contraception
We are starting rulemaking R 2018-10 to update applicable WACs and add new sections to align with SSB 6219, now codified in RCW 48.43.072 and RCW 48.43.073, which discusses requirements for coverage of reproductive health care and contraception.
Comments are due September 13, 2018; please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, including the notice to start rulemaking (CR-101), please visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/health-plan-coverage-reproductive-healthcare-and-contraception-r-2018-10?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Proposed rule posted: Updating citations concerning fraternal mutual property insurers
We have released the proposed rule language on R 2018-03. The rule will amend WAC 284-36-010 regarding domestic fraternal mutual property insurers’ agents and directors. The current rule cites RCW 48.36.410, which has been repealed. Therefore, this section should be amended to reference RCW 48.36A.390, which is the current statute.
We have scheduled a public hearing on the rule:
When: September 27, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.
Where: 5000 Capitol Blvd. SE, Tumwater WA 98501
Comments on the proposed rule language are due September 26, 2018; please send them to email@example.com.
For more information, including the proposed rule language (CR-102), please visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/updating-citations-concerning-fraternal-mutual-property-insurers-r-2018-03?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Notice of rulemaking on risk mitigation
We are starting rulemaking R 2018-11, the OIC is considering rulemaking that would allow risk mitigation and emergency response activities for property insurers of non-commercial properties.
Comments are due September 30, 2018; please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, including the notice to start rulemaking (CR-101), please visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/risk-mitigation-r-2018-11?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=