California — Farmers Want Flood Reforms
Insurance premiums for flood insurance are out of control according to California’s farmers and growers. As a result a task force funded by the state is looking at recommendations to be presented when the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is reauthorized by Congress sometime next year.
The biggest problem is in the state’s Central Valley where flood zones were recently remapped. Some areas were moved into the most severe flood zone and that means higher rates and new building requirements.
The task force consists of local flood control officials and state water officials and others.
How bad is the problem? Colusa County Supervisor Denise Carter’s family owns Benden Farms. They mainly grow rice. If they had to get a federally backed mortgage or other financing, rates would go off the roof and would be as high as $32,000 a year. “Just to put that into perspective, our liability policy on the same buildings is about $4,700 a year, so the increase is a big hit for agriculture. We live with risk, and that includes farming in a floodplain,” she said.
Farmers want a long-term fix and point to a 2014 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that said California farmers are being adversely affected by the new designations and FEMA’s guidelines.
Three years ago California Democrat Rep. John Garamendi — who was the state’s last insurance commissioner — introduced a bill to exempt structures like barns, sheds and silos from FEMA’s new building requirements. It stalled and went nowhere.
Source link: Capital Press
Idaho — Producer Law Class
2016 FREE PRODUCER LAW CLASS
Presented By THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
Class # 3190578
- MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR/DOI UPDATES
- LIFE INSURANCE UPDATES
- “IT’S NOT YOUR MONEY!”
Class Counts for 3 (ETHICS) continuing education credits
PRESENTERS: Dean Cameron, Director, Idaho Department of Insurance
Amy Lambrecht, Supervisor, Consumer Affairs
Karl Fromm, Consumer Affairs Officer
DATE: Thursday, October 6, 2016
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.
Idaho — September is National Preparedness Month
Maybe something to share with your personal lines clients.
The time to prepare for emergencies is before they happen. The Idaho Department of Insurance encourages Idahoans to review their insurance policies and understand their coverage during National Preparedness Month.
“We are fortunate here in Idaho that we don’t have many of the major weather disasters that strike other areas of the country, but we are susceptible to wildfires and earthquakes,” says Department Director Dean Cameron. “Now is the time to take steps to be prepared for any type of disaster.”
• Policy limits on homes and belongings can become outdated. Make it a habit to review your coverage with your agent annually to be sure it is adequate.
• Earthquake coverage is typically not included in a homeowner’s policy. Speak to your agent about obtaining coverage.
• If you are renting, you should know that your belongings are not covered under your landlord’s policy. Talk to your agent about renters insurance to protect your possessions.
• Flood insurance is also separate from homeowners insurance. Policies have a 30-day waiting period before they are effective. Your agent can help you with this coverage, or you can visit floodsmart.gov for information.
• Complete a home inventory such as the one found on the Department’s website, or by using a home inventory app.
• Make a list of insurance policy numbers, your insurance company and insurance agent’s contact information, and then send an electronic copy to someone you trust in the event you must evacuate your home.
For more information about this or other insurance-related topics, contact the Idaho Department of Insurance by visiting www.doi.idaho.gov or by calling 334-4250 in the Boise area or 800-721-3272 toll-free statewide.
Oregon — Information for Exchange and Medicare Agents
The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) has several critical items to share with resident health insurance agents who write (or have written) business on the federal health insurance exchange and/or Medicare.
Check our locator tool http://healthcare.oregon.gov/Pages/get-help.aspx and search for your agency by zip code to confirm the following:
If you are writing business on the exchange, please check that your contact information is correct. In addition, if you want to receive our agent newsletter, please subscribe by going to https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/ORDCBS/subscriber/new?qsp=ORDCBS_3.
If you are no longer writing on the exchange but your information is listed, please contact us to have your information removed.
Changes need to be sent to agents.marketplace@Oregon.gov with “Agent locator/FFM” in the subject line. We will process changes within 24 hours.
The state will be adding a feature to the locator tool above that will allow consumers to search for local Medicare agents. This search function will be the first of its kind in the nation.
As this is a pilot project with interest at the national level from CMS, we are asking agents to submit specific documentation and participate in a short webinar and test in order to be listed as a Medicare agent on the locator.
Note this is a voluntary process, so agents are not required to go through this process unless they choose to opt in. If you do not participate, however, your listing on the locator tool will say you do not provide Medicare assistance.
This is available only to agents who have a brick and mortar location. As this is a pilot project, changes will be made over time.
• Include the code of conduct language below in the response acknowledgment you agree
• Current AHIP certification
• Documentation showing current appointment with 2 Medicare carriers
• Medicare health insurance experience for at least 2 years
• No confirmed complaints with the Oregon Insurance Commissioner
Email this documentation to agents.marketplace@Oregon.gov with “Agent locator/Medicare” in the subject line. Once all of the above are submitted and verified, you will be given access to the webinar training (15-20 minutes of key highlights) and testing program. Passage of the test with 80% or better score will initiate the process for adding your name in the locator tool.
As this is a new process, your patience is requested as we work through an anticipated heavy workload. We expect to roll out the Medicare help search function in the coming months.
Code of Conduct:
Participation in the agent locator tool will require the following:
• I will follow all of the guidelines spelled out by the Marketplace for participation.
• I will keep all of my required certifications & appointments up to date and current.
• I will follow all of the rules and regulations set forth by CMS regarding the sale of Medicare plans.
• I will do my best to find the best plan for each and every person based upon their needs.
By agreeing to the above, I also understand that my participation can be terminated at the discretion of the Marketplace.
Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace
Oregon — New Rule
Recently Adopted Rule ID 10-2016: Establishing standards for the adequacy of an insurer's network of health care providers
The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation recently adopted the following rule:
ID 10-2016: Establishing standards for the adequacy of an insurer's network of health care providers
Adopt: OAR 836-053-0300, 836-053-0310, 836-053-0320, 836-053-0330, 836-053-0340, 836-053-0350
In 2015, the Oregon Legislature enacted House Bill 2468. The bill instructs the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services to adopt rules pertaining to an insurer's network of health care providers. In promulgating rules, the director must prescribe annual network reporting requirements, define nationally-recognized standards to be used in demonstrating networks are adequate, and establish factors to be used when insurers demonstrate compliance with network adequacy requirements via the factor-based approach. The director must also adopt rules establishing provider directory requirements. HB 2468 applies to health benefit plans in effect on or after January 1, 2017.
Adopted: September 14, 2016
Effective: September 14, 2016
For more information, please visit the Division's website:
Oregon — SAIF Dividend
Oregon’s workers’ compensation board SAIF is giving a dividend to policyholders again this year. The amount will hit $140 million and it will come in two dividends. The first is $120 million and based on total premium and the second to safety performance. It totals $20 million.
This is the seventh straight year SAIF has returned a dividend. It is also the first time since 2000 that SAIF has handed out cash rewards for safety via a dividend.
SAIF President and CEO Kerry Barnett said, “We’re able to pay dividends because of strong financial results, and the best driver of those results are the injuries that don’t happen as Oregon workplaces become safer and healthier. More importantly, safety and health programs have helped thousands of workers avoid the pain and anguish of a workplace injury. That’s the best dividend of all.”
Source link: Insurance Journal
Washington: OIC Rule
The OIC has determined that rule-making is not necessary to implement RCW 48.43.016 and has withdrawn the CR-101 for R 2016-09.
Separate rule-making regarding the prior authorization process (R 2016-19) is still underway. A second stakeholder draft for that rule will be released in the next few weeks and another stakeholder meeting will be announced with the release of the second stakeholder draft.
For questions or comments, please contact Jim Freeburg at email@example.com.