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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 16, 2016

California — Pacific Gas & Electric Pipeline

In 2010 an explosion of a natural gas pipeline in San Bruno — a city of 41,000 a bit south of San Francisco — killed eight people and injured 58 others. Federal charges came out of the aftermath. Pacific Gas & Electric was found guilty last week of obstructing the investigation and for violating pipeline safety regulations.

 

The fine will likely be the maximum of $3 million.

 

Source link: Carrier Management

 

 

California — Hot Tub Caused Wildfire

Faulty wiring in a hot tub caused a fire in Lake County and parts of Napa County that burned 120 square miles and killed four people. One person is still missing and presumed dead.

 

The fire last year destroyed more than 1,300 homes.

 

The property owners are being investigated for possible criminal charges. They may not have obtained a building permit when installing the hot tub and officials have found it was not installed according to building code. And officials are also looking at possibly charging them for the $57 million it took to extinguish the fire.

 

California — Watchdog News Release Misleads

This from California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. Consumer Watchdog issued a news release about State Farm that includes inaccurate statements and is misleading.

 

The Consumer Watchdog news release falsely stated that a judge made a decision "ordering the company [State Farm] to refund policyholders at least $85 million for overcharges" and "ordered that going forward, State Farm must decrease its homeowners insurance rates by 7.0%".

 

To the contrary, no such order has been issued by a judge or by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. No final decision has been made on the State Farm rate case. Commissioner Jones has the final authority in the case and will make a final decision at the conclusion of the case, which is still pending.

 

Commissioner Jones requests Consumer Watchdog retract its false and misleading news release and respect the Proposition 103 rate setting process in this case.

 

Consumer Watchdog is a party to the State Farm proceeding and knows that no order rebating rates or reducing rates has been issued in the case. The Consumer Watchdog news release confuses consumers and the media into believing that consumers are now entitled to a rate rebate and reduction, when no such order has been issued.

 

Instead of the order, which Consumer Watchdog falsely says was issued, an administrative law judge (ALJ) made a recommendation-a proposed decision-for Commissioner Jones to consider based on evidence and arguments made at the State Farm rate hearing.

 

Rather than issuing his final decision, Commissioner Jones ordered the case to be returned to the ALJ to take additional evidence regarding what interest rate, if any, might be applicable.

 

After evidence is taken by the ALJ the rate case will be formally submitted to Commissioner Jones to consider, after which he will make a decision and issue a final order. Until then, the case is still pending and there is no order rebating rates or reducing rates.

 

Idaho — Possible Health Insurance Enrollment Scam: This from the Idaho Department of Insurance.

 

The Idaho Department of Insurance has been made aware of a possible scam by a company using deceptive practices to market health insurance in Idaho. Your Health Idaho, Idaho’s health insurance exchange, has received complaints from consumers about an organization called National Enrollment Center. Multiple attempts to contact the company went unanswered or were disconnected.

 

We don’t really know what type of health insurance they are selling,” says Consumer Services Bureau Chief Elaine Mellon. When pressed for details about what company they sell for, what type of insurance they are selling, or licensing information, they hang up.”

 

The Department of Insurance has a list of tips and information for consumers who are contacted by anyone attempting to sell insurance:

 

  Open enrollment for health insurance will run November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017 – no special state enrollment period” for individual health insurance exists. Anyone offering insurance plans through an enrollment period” outside of open enrollment is not selling an ACA-compliant policy.

 

  No one offering ACA-compliant health care coverage will ask if you have a pre-existing condition.

 

  The federal government will not call you to sell you health insurance. Be wary of telemarketers from the National Enrollment Center,” “National Healthcare Center,” or other official-sounding names.

 

  Never provide bank account or health information or agree to any request to send money over the phone. If you are being pressured to provide this information, hang up.

 

  Purchase insurance only from a licensed agent. Ask agents for their license number and verify licensure by calling the Department or visiting the website, www.doi.idaho.gov. If a person refuses to provide licensing information, hang up.

 

  If you receive a sales call from someone selling health insurance, ask the caller to send you information in writing about the policy, including premiums. If they refuse, hang up.

 

People with questions about this or other insurance-related topics are encouraged to 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.

 

Washington — Drive for Hire Union Law: U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik said it’s too early to file a lawsuit challenging Seattle’s new law that allows drivers for hire to organize into a union. It’s the first such law in the nation.

 

Judge Lasnik said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is premature in filing its suit to overturn the city’s decision. It doesn’t have any standing anyway. The Chambers’ theory of standing relies on a speculative chain of events controlled entirely by the choices of third parties not currently before the court,” the judge wrote.

 

Source links: PropertyCasualty360.com, Insurance Journal

 

 

Washington — Kreidler Wins Primary

Mike Kriedler is the longest-serving state insurance commissioner in the nation. Kreidler — a Democrat — advanced along with Republican challenger Richard Schrock to the November general election. Kreidler, who is seeking a fifth term, captured 57.6% of the vote in the primary, while Schrock got 35.2% of the ballots.

 

In Washington, all candidates compete in the primary, with the top two finishers advancing to the general election. Libertarian Justin Murta polled 7.1% and was eliminated.

 

Washington — From the Commissioner’s Office

The stakeholder draft is now available for OIC proposed rule R 2016-07 regarding registration and regulation of pharmacy benefit managers.

 

 As the OIC previously announced, the stakeholder meeting will be on August 23rd from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  The meeting will be in Olympia on the Capitol Campus in House Hearing Room D (O'Brien Building).

 

Specific details regarding the meeting:

 

  The meeting will be in-person only

  If there is a high turnout, the agency will limit testimony to three minutes per person

  The OIC will call stakeholders to testify in the order that they signed in

  In regard to in-person comments, the information that's most useful to the OIC is specific suggestions for proposed changes to the text

  The meeting will end at 2:30 p.m.

 

Despite the time limitations on in-person testimony at the stakeholder meeting, the OIC will accept written comments of any length, which stakeholders are welcome to submit to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov

 

The comment deadline for the stakeholder draft is Tuesday, August 30th.

 

For questions or comments, please contact Bianca Stoner, Senior Health Policy Analyst, at rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

 

In another filing, the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner recently filed the following item with the Code Reviser’s Office:

 

Click here for proposed rule 2016-21

 

Background

 

Under this rule, when consumers are applying for individual health plans using special enrollment rights, the Exchange and issuers would have the ability to voluntarily set the monthly enrollment deadline as early as the 15th of the month.

 

This process began in May 2016 with Rule 2016-13.  The OIC has withdrawn that rule, and 2016-21 replaces it.

 

Comments

The CR-101 comment period closes on September 16, 2016.

 

Stakeholder meeting

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

5000 Capitol Blvd. SE

Tumwater, WA 98501

 

The OIC will upload the stakeholder draft to this webpage by the end of the week

For questions or comments, please contact Bianca Stoner, Senior Health Policy Analyst, at rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

 

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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Annual PIA KKlub and Member Appreciation is Coming

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

 

 

The annual PIA Western Alliance Member Appreciation Day will be held September 8, 2016 at the Camas Meadows Golf Club in Camas, Washington. All agents, agencies and company personnel — members or not — are urged to attend.

 

This is the day to celebrate, network and recognize all our PIA members and with particular appreciation to our KKlub company members for two reasons: 

 

  First, it is a day of education, information and fun.

  Second, our KKlub carriers recognize the importance of preserving the independent agency system.

 

PIA Western Alliance Executive Vice President Clark Sitzes said, “Their support in partnering with us allows the association to work in depth on legislative issues that affect the industry and your business. Our PIA KKlub Appreciate Day is our way of saying thank you,” he said.

 

And — that said — he continued and urged your support, “It’s the perfect opportunity for industry professionals to gather for an informative day and competition on the golf course as we recognize our esteemed KKlub members. Our members are what drive the Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance. 

 

On the information side of the event, PIA Washington and Oregon Lobbyists Mel Sorensen and Lana Butterfield will talk about what’s happening at the Legislature and with the departments of insurance in their respective states and about the importance of KKlub support for PIA efforts in them.

 

Mel Sorensen is the PIA Washington lobbyist. He has been with Carney, Bradley, Spellman since 2000 and his emphasis is legislative and regulatory representation. This includes actions before the Washington State Office of Insurance Commissioner.

 

Lana Butterfield works tirelessly for the insurance industry in the Oregon Legislature and is the PIA of Oregon Lobbyist. She also is President of Butterfield Communications specializing in government relations.

 

Click here to register.

 

Schedule

Thursday, September 8, 2016

 

9:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Oregon & Washington Legislative/Regulatory Review with Mel Sorensen and Lana Butterfield.

 

12:00 PM

Tee off with Box Lunch

 

6:00 PM

Dinner and Golf Awards at the Course

 

Address:

The Camas Meadows Golf Club

4105 NW Camas Meadows Drive

Camas, Washington 98607

 

Click here to register.

 

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

 

Tags:  Annual PIA KKlub and Member Appreciation is Coming  Appreciation Day  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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Agency Organic Growth Hits 5-Year Low

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Reagan Consulting took a look at independent agency and brokerage organic growth for 2016 in its recent Reagan Consulting Organic Growth and Profitability (OGP) survey.

 

Overall organic growth fell to a five-year low in the second quarter of this year. It’s 4.0% and down considerably from the 2015 second quarter growth of 5.9%. It’s also deemed the lowest quarter for organic growth since 2011.

 

Here are some stats from the survey:

 

  Commercial lines organic growth fell to 3.1%

  That’s down from 5.1% in the first quarter

  Employee benefits is the fastest growing line at +6.2%

  Personal lines rose 1.7%

 

Reagan Consulting’s Jim Campbell said, The powerful headwinds of soft commercial lines premium rates and a muddling economy are even stronger in 2016, after blowing for more than a year.”

 

Profit margins suffered, too. They’re down 23.1% from the 24.6% in the 2015 second quarter. The measurement comes from the EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). It’s the second lowest earnings since 2012.

 

Here’s more. Commercial rates — the report said — fell 3.7% in the first quarter. That figure comes from the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB) and is the biggest decrease since the soft market began in 2014.

 

Reagan Consulting got its information from 140 mid-size and large agencies and brokerages. Half of the largest companies in the industry participated. Average revenue is $18 million. Campbell said — in spite of the bad news in the survey — most said they expect a year of profitability and not losses. Some think they’ll hit 20%. If achieved, that would be generally consistent with the 20.1 percent margin achieved in 2015,” he said.

 

Source link: Insurance Journal

 

Tags:  Agency Growth  Agency Organic Growth Hits 5-Year Low  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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MetLife Cutting Jobs: Number Unknown but Could be Lots

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

MetLife is going to be cutting jobs. Central bank policies have strangled MetLife’s bond-dominated portfolio. It’s valued at $500 billion or more. Second quarter profits of a variable-annuity business — that the company is trying to exit — fell 90% to $110 million.

 

The exit is part of its move to unwind its retail operation.

 

MetLife CEO Steve Kandarian says the squeeze is forcing the company to reduce annual costs by $1 billion or more by the end of 2019. That means job cuts for a company that had 69,000 employees in December of last year.

 

In light of the significant headwinds our industry is facing, MetLife must do even more to avoid simply running in place. We know this will require us to reduce headcount, which is never an easy step for an organization to take. Our overall goal is to be more efficient, so that we can better serve our customers and provide a fair return to shareholders,” Kandarian said.

 

As part of the cost-cutting process MetLife inked a deal with Computer Sciences Corporation to administer 7 million policies. Computer Sciences will provide a call center and information technology support. It will also offer jobs to 1,000 people currently working for MetLife in the United States and in India.

 

The company has been moving its retail operation to a new — and separate from MetLife — unit called Brighthouse Financial. At the same time, it was going to do share buybacks but that has been halted with no plan to resume.

 

Our first order of business is to work on the separation and make sure we have a clear understanding about capitalization of Brighthouse, the form of the separation. Once we get through that, we’ll focus on the issue of how we’ll use any remaining excess capital. We’re not at that point yet where we can really speak to when share repurchases may begin,” Kandarian said.

 

Source link: Insurance Business America

 

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  job cuts  MetLife  MetLife Cutting Jobs: Number Unknown but Could be   Weekly Industry News 

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More Troubles for ObamaCare & Health Insurer Mergers

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

 

Aetna was going to move to the health insurance exchanges of five new states in 2017. Those plans — as of last week — are on hold. And it is going to reassess those states where it is currently participating and serving 838,000 consumers.

 

All this happened in the light of the U.S. Justice Department nixing Aetna’s planned purchase of Humana. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini put the decision in perspective and said, “in light of updated 2016 projections for our individual products and the significant structural challenges facing the public exchanges, we intend to withdraw all of our 2017 public exchange expansion plans, and are undertaking a complete evaluation of future participation in our current 15-state footprint.”

 

He told CNN Money that the company is thinking it’s going to lose $300 million — pre-tax — in 2016.

 

A final decision will be made at the end of September when the firm will be required to let the federal government and the states know what it’s going to do.

 

The other insurers backing down considerably from involvement are UnitedHealth Care who is leaving almost all of the 1,200 counties in eight states and Blue Cross Blue Shield who still hasn’t made final decisions but will be departing or scaling back in some markets.

 

In the meantime, Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia threw a wrench in the Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna mergers. The Justice Department — as noted earlier — has put the kibosh on both but both firms have the right to oppose the department’s lawsuit.

 

Aetna and Humana are demanding swift trials — like by the end of the year — so they can get on with the business of insurance. The judge says he can’t do both. I can’t do both. Unless the schedule is put off, I’m sending one of the cases back.”

 

What he wouldn’t say is which one.

 

Anthem’s attorney Christoper Curran said if Anthem’s deal is sent back it’ll doom the sale. Cigna won’t wait.

 

Source links: Two from Insurance Business America — link 1 and link 2

 

Tags:  Healthcare  HealthCare.gov  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  More Troubles for ObamaCare & Health Insurer Merge  ObamaCare  The Affordable Care Act  Weekly Industry News 

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Oregon’s Corporate Business Tax Battle Heats Up

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Gov. Kate Brown

A corporate tax of $3 billion a year will be on the November ballot in Oregon.  Economists at Portland State University estimate the revenue from the tax will add 33,600 government jobs by 2027 and about 13,500 private sector jobs.

 

Supporters like that the new revenue will stabilize the state’s finances and put education spending into the stratosphere and be a major improvement. Opponents — mostly the state’s business community — worry it’ll raise costs and chase jobs away because it will be much like a sales tax.

 

If passed the measure will charge C corporations with annual sales above $25 million a 2.5% tax on those sales.

 

Oregon Governor Kate Brown — a Democrat — stayed out of the discussion for a long time but last week decided to support what is now titled Measure 97. “I support Measure 97 because there is a basic unfairness in our tax system that makes working families pay an increasing share for state and local services, including public schools, senior services, and health care," Brown said.

 

Some thought the governor was sitting out because she planned on calling the Legislature into special session to pass an alternative. In June she talked about changing the earned income credit, expanding low-income energy assistance and changing how the state classifies the location of some businesses so firms like those creating software would not have to pay the tax on out of state sales.

 

Brown was also said to be looking at an idea to let businesses deduct a part of their Oregon payroll from the corporate tax bill to reduce the amount of revenue generated.

 

That didn’t happen. And it won’t. So Brown tossed her support toward the measure and said, “State leaders before me have repeatedly tried and failed to solve the problem of adequate and stable funding for schools and other state services. Every solution has had strengths and weaknesses in terms of fairness and economic impact. None has succeeded in bringing the business community, individual and family taxpayers, service providers, and advocates together.”

 

Critics say the governor’s largest donor for her reelection campaign is the political action committee Too Extreme for Oregon. It’s funded by unions and headed up by the Service Employees International Union director. Too Extreme gave her $177,500 for political ads when running for Secretary of State and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees gave her $100,000 in January for her governorship campaign.

 

The Oregon Education Association also kicked in $50,000 in May of this year.

 

Also supporting the governor — and the ballot measure — is the Oregon PTA. It’s legislative director is Otto Schell. He wrote, “Gov. Brown has a clear vision of Oregon's future and Measure 97 helps fulfill that vision for our schools, our seniors, and for families needing health services. Measure 97 will markedly improve the lives of Oregon families and students.”

 

The Portland Business Alliance opposes the measure and says it is confused as to what the governor really wants “based on her statement, we are not clear where the governor truly stands on her intent should Measure 97 pass. She said she ‘will make sure the funds the measure yields go towards schools, health care and seniors, as the voters expect.’ But just a few weeks ago, she issued an implementation plan that would divert the money to other uses. These statements appear to be in conflict.”

 

The campaign fighting the measure is also concerned. Its spokeswoman Rebecca Tweed said it will “increase the costs we pay for food, housing, electricity and virtually all other goods and services we buy. It does nothing to guarantee more funds for education, healthcare or anything else.”

 

Brown’s November opponent Bud Pierce is also against Measure 97. He said, “Kate Brown believes that the government never has enough and always wants more. I believe that the government has enough, if the government spends wisely.”

 

Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli agrees with Pierce and condemned the governor’s stance and says the governor is playing rope-a-dope. He said for months she pretended to be considering options. Then — no surprise — she gave it a ringing endorsement. “The Governor is a fully owned subsidiary of Big Unions Incorporated. It is disingenuous for the Governor to ask Oregonians to support Measure 97 to fund education when not one penny of new revenue is guaranteed to end up in the classroom. The sad state of our schools is the sole result of years of Democrat mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. Oregonians deserve the truth about Kate Brown's endorsement of Measure 97: it's not for our children. It's about keeping the corrupt relationship between Democrats and public employee unions in Oregon alive and well."

 

Source links: two from OregonLive.com link 1 and link 2

 


Tags:  business tax  corporate tax  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Oregon’s Corporate Business Tax Battle Heats Up  Weekly Industry News 

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Airport Security Lacking

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

 

 

Former Transportation Security Administration deputy administrator John Halinski recently made some alarming statements. In his analysis of the nation’s airports, Halinski said security is not adequate enough to prevent a terrorist attack similar to what we saw at the airports in Brussels and Istanbul.

 

The union representing airport screeners — the 43,000 employee strong American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) — agrees.

 

Halinski says the biggest problem is a hodgepodge of state and local law enforcement people handling the task. Most countries have a national police force to do the job. So the patchwork is troublesome. It’s a vulnerability. Airport police are really kind of overwhelmed. They just don’t have the budgets, they don’t have the manpower,” he said.

 

By the way, he now works as an airport security consultant and knows his stuff. Halinski says the biggest problem is departments that are underfunded and understaffed. This is especially a concern at smaller airports. As an example he talked about the 2013 shooting at Los Angeles International Airport. One screener died.

 

Halinski contends it’s from poor communications that led to delays.

 

Charity Wilson — who represents AFGE — said, The recent attacks in Istanbul and Brussels have fully alerted the entire world to a different type of terrorist attack. That is attacking an open area at the airport that is usually close to or between checkpoints.”

 

She believes more agents are needed — as well as more funding — to stop such attacks on U.S. soil.

 

Halinski agrees. Airport police forces probably can’t prevent all attacks but they can certainly reduce casualties. And police that are more visible and in larger numbers can be a deterrent.

 

But there aren’t enough police says AFGE National President David Cox. Current airport law enforcement operations have gaps and inconsistencies that leave TSOs and passengers vulnerable. Many airports have no armed law enforcement officers stationed at or in the airport.”

 

His union wants a special class of TSA officer created to guard screening checkpoints. Those officers — he suggests — would be trained and armed. Today’s screening guards are not.

 

Is it a good idea? CIA Director John Brennan thinks so. He says the U.S. remains a terrorist target. It would be surprising to me that ISIL is not trying to hit us both in the region as well as in our homeland,” he said.

 

But it all boils down to resources and Halinski said that’s a huge obstacle to overcome. A lot of this boils down to money and who is going to pay. At the end of the day, quite frankly, everybody is going to have to pay something if we’re going go be more effective in this area.”

 

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com

 

Tags:  Airport Security Lacking  Cyber Breach  Cyber Insurance  Cyber Security  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Security  Weekly Industry News 

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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

California — Rate Reduction Pressure

Consumer Watchdog wants State Farm’s homeowners rate increase dropped. The group has filed a petition with the Department of Insurance and says State Farm needs to cut it by 40%.

 

It states 280,000 homeowners are going to be overcharged by close to $100 million.

 

Citing Proposition 103, the group says it does not allow “excessive” home, auto and business insurance rates. Consumer Watchdog said the 26% rate increase asked for is unwarranted and State Farm’s own figures show it is not needed.

 

State Farm had no comment.

 

Source link: Insurance Journal

 

California — Uber Arbitration

Uber recently said the $100 million settlement it made with the drivers is a take it or leave it scenario. That’s what it told U.S. District Judge Edward Chen and Seattle University School of Law associate professor Charlotte Garden said Uber asked him to cancel his order protecting the drivers.

 

Uber is almost daring Judge Chen to go against its wishes. Uber all but says that if he doesn’t treat the issue the way it wants, it will walk away from the deal,” she said.

 

The judge has two choices. He can approve what he already says is a flawed agreement or he can send both the drivers and Uber back to negotiations. Experts say if that happens the deal goes away and essentially leaves the 350,000 drivers in California and Massachusetts with nothing.

 

The company continues to maintain the drivers are independent contractors and not employees. Drivers want what is — more or less — employee status.

 

Source link: Insurance Journal

 

 

Idaho — Insurance Fraud

From the Idaho Department of Insurance.

 

Ashley Monroe, a former Idaho resident, was sentenced on July 25, 2016, on one count of insurance fraud for filing a false claim with her insurance carrier, USAA. The Idaho Department of Insurance fraud unit investigated the claim.

 

Monroe reported that her diamond engagement ring fell off her hand and into a storm drain while she was getting into her car. USAA paid her $2,955 for the ring. Department of Insurance investigators discovered that Monroe had pawned the ring and that it was still in the pawn shop when the claim was filed. Investigators also learned that she had pawned the same ring at least twice after receiving the claim money.

 

Monroe was charged with one count of insurance fraud and one count of theft by extortion. She pleaded guilty to one count of insurance fraud and was sentenced in Ada County. She was granted a withheld judgment and placed on felony supervised probation for three years, and was also ordered to pay a fine of $1,240,50 and serve 20 days in jail.

 

Department Director Dean Cameron says, A fraudulent claim may not seem like a big deal on the surface. But according to FBI estimates, insurance fraud costs the average U.S. family between $400 and $700 per year in the form of increased premiums.”

 

This case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Nicole Schafer of the Idaho Attorney General’s Insurance Crimes Unit.

 

Washington — Insurance Commissioner Actions

The Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner recently filed the following items with the Code Reviser’s Office.

 

Action 1

 

CR-102 for R 2016-06: Rating requirements rule to implement SSB 6536.

 

Background

The OIC is writing rules to standardize rating requirements under SSB 6536, which the Legislature passed during the 2016 legislative session.

 

Comments

This comment period closes on September 14, 2016

 

Rule hearing:

 

Thursday, September 15th at 10:00 a.m.

5000 Capitol Blvd. SE

Tumwater, WA 98501

Driving directions

For questions or comments, please contact Bianca Stoner, Senior Health Policy Analyst, at rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

 

Action 2

 

Code Reviser’s Office:

 

Notice to start rulemaking

CR-101 for R 2016-22: Prescription drug substitution process.

 

Background

This rule ensures that the OIC’s regulations are consistent with the federal government’s HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2017 (www.federalregister.gov) regarding drug substitution. The rule creates turnaround timeframes for when an enrollee requests a prescription-drug substitution and clarifies the appeals process.

 

Comments

The comment period for the CR-101 is open until September 15, 2016.

For questions or comments, please contact Jim Freeburg at rulesc@oic.wa.gov.

 

Action 3

 

Proposed rule

CR-102 for R 2016-08: Prescription drug substitution process.

 

Background

Previous rulemaking allows certain prescriptions to be filled on a short-term basis, but the rules did not address how consumers should be notified when such emergency fills occur. Additional rulemaking, per RCW 48.43.510 (leg.wa.gov), requiring insurers to notify consumers of any covered benefits, is necessary to clarify how consumers are to be notified of the emergency fill, including any cost-sharing obligations.

 

Rule Hearing

September 6, 2016 1:30 p.m.

5000 Capitol Blvd. SE

Tumwater, WA

Driving Directions

 

Comments

The comment period for the CR-102 is open until September 6, 2016.

For questions or comments, please contact Jim Freeburg at rulesc@oic.wa.gov.

 

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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PIA & the Washington Joint Conference

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 2, 2016

 

The PIA Washington/Alaska and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Washington annual joint conference and trade show will be September 14 - 16 at the Davenport Grand Hotel in Spokane.

 

It is — as every year — the only annual statewide insurance event that gives agents, brokers, CSRs and insurers, wholesalers and other companies the opportunity to meet. Plus, the event has some of the best education available in the state.

 

Click here to access the joint conference website.

 

On the joint conference website the two agent associations said, “We encourage agents/brokers, CSRs, and marketing reps to attend to learn from industry experts, network with fellow agents and company representatives as you enjoy one of the finest resorts in the Northwest.”

 

Click here to register.

 

Exhibitor space is still available and so are sponsorships. It’s not too late for your company to be part of this great event!

 

The Washington Joint Conference is in its 6th year and has gained a reputation that vendors simply must not miss. This is the only statewide annual industry event which gives insurance companies, wholesalers, technology vendors, finance companies and others the unique opportunity and access to the largest group of agents and CSRs all under one roof.

 

And of course, the trade show is a real advantage to agents, agencies and the representatives of companies wanting to network. “Agents learn the latest in products and services while vendors get introduced to the best in the business.”

 

Reserve your booth online right now in real time. No log in required.

 

To sponsor, click here to print the sponsor form then Email or fax us at 888-346-4466. Check out the current availability of sponsorships here.

 

6th Annual PIA - IIABW Washington Joint Conference Agenda

 

Wednesday, September 14

1 pm – 7 pm 

Golf Tournament

   

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Welcome Reception

 

9:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Hospitality Suite

 

Thursday, September 15

8:00 am - 9:30 am

IIABW & PIA Board Meetings      

 

9:45 am 11:45 am 

Concurrent Workshops: (choose 1 to attend)

 

Session A                                                                        

Understanding How Emerging Technology Has Affected Insurance Fraud (And How the Industry Can Fight Back (2 WA CE)

Doug Osborne, Kemper Special Investigation Unit

 

Session B

Revitalizing Your Sales Efforts

Brandie Hinen, Power House Learning

 

11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Exhibitor Set Up

 

12:00 pm-1:00 pm

Group Lunch

 

12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

IIABW Past Presidents Lunch

 

1:15 pm - 3:00 pm

General Session

 

IIABW & PIA Presidents

 

Discover your PPFE; Shaping a Positive, Productive, Fresh and Enthusiastic Work Culture

Matt Zolbe, Motivus LLC

 

Command and Control Over Chaos

Brandie Hinen, Power House Learning     

 

3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Trade Show 

 

7:00 pm Exhibit Tear Down

Dinner On Own

 

8:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Poker Tournament

   

Friday, September 16

8:00 am – 8:50 am

IIABW Annual Business Meeting

PIA Anuual Business Meeting

 

9:00 am – 12:00 noon

General Session

An Errors and Omissions Mock Trial: Bushwood Country Club vs Danny Noonan’s No Risk Insurance Agency (3 WA CE)

 

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Awards Luncheon

 

1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Concurrent Workshops: (choose 1 to attend)

 

Session A

Eliminating IT: Putting Technology Where It Belongs... Back In Your Hands

Matt Slade, Slade.Guru

   

Session B

Additional Risk of Hoarding and How It Changes A Claim (2 WA CE)

Chelsea Chase, Just Right Cleaning and Construction

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.WAJOINTCONFERENCE.COM

 

Tags:  Insurance Conference  Insurance Conference and Trade Show  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  PIA & the Washington Joint Conference  WA Joint Conference  Weekly Industry News 

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Wildfire: It’s Insanely Dry and Dangerous

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 2, 2016

 

 

Again this year the West is on fire. The huge and very dangerous fire in Los Angeles — which still isn’t under control — dominated the news the last couple of weeks. Now there’s a big one burning in Big Sur.

 

Fires are ongoing in almost every state in the West — Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Arizona and California — and firefighters and resources are stretched to the max. Many of the homes threatened are on the edge of wilderness and maybe ought not be there. Or so says Interior Secretary Sally Jewell who contends these dwellings are hard to protect, expensive to protect and they are draining resources she says would be better spent defending forests, rangeland and the habitat for wildlife.

 

In the fire in Los Angeles firefighters managed — through a Herculean effort — to save 2,000 homes in the first three days of that fire. And this nearly superhuman effort is going on all over the states in the West as fires pop up.

 

At a meeting in May at Boise, Idaho’s National Interagency Fire Center Jewell said, “I fly back and forth across the country and I see it. We should be holding these people accountable, and we're not.”

 

But who is most accountable? Those building or local governments letting them build there? Whoever is accountable is not considering the financial and human burden for the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies. It is tremendous. In 2015 half of the Forest Service budget went to fighting fire. In one week alone it spent $243 million. That’s money designated for other — ironically — fire prevention projects.

 

And Forest Service spokesman Larry Sutton said most of the time after a huge fire, people rebuild in those same dangerous areas and don’t worry much about the next fire storm coming. “It may be just the mistaken belief that we're always going to be able to show up and save the day. But nothing would be able to stop some of these firestorms,” he said.

 

Worse. The death toll from all these fires continues to mount. Countless homeowners have died and so have many firefighters.

 

Source link: Associated Press

 

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News  Wildfire: It’s Insanely Dry and Dangerous  wildfires 

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