Alaska — Notice of Public Forum: Alaska Section 1332 Innovation Waiver:
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The waiver provided an estimated $322 million in federal funding to support the Alaska Reinsurance Program through 2022, which has helped to reduce premium costs and provide stability in Alaska’s individual health care insurance market. The waiver took effect on January 1, 2018. Under the specific terms and conditions of the award, the division has scheduled its annual forum to collect meaningful public comment on the progress of the waiver. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the forum will be held telephonically. Interested parties may attend by teleconference as listed below, or may submit comments in writing up to 5:00 pm Alaska Time Zone on June 16, 2020.
June 16, 2020
9:00 am – 10;00 am (Alaska Time Zone)
1-800-315-6338 (Access Code: 42070#)
Submit comments in writing to:
Alaska Division of Insurance
P.O. Box 110805
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0805
Written comments are due by 5:00 pm Alaska Time Zone on June 16, 2020.
Alaska's Section 1332 Waiver Application — https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/Headlines/Alaska%201332%20State%20Innovation%20Waiver%20June%2015%202017.pdf?ver=2017-06-26-091456-033
Federal Approval Notice — https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/State-Innovation-Waivers/Downloads/Alaska-STCs-signed-by-Treasury.pdf
2020 Federal Pass-Through Funding Calculation — https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/State-Innovation-Waivers/Downloads/1332-AK-2020.pdf
Notice of Public Forum: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/Notice_Section1332_05.11.2020.pdf
California — Newsom Issues Workmans’ Compensation Order:
California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order involving workers’ compensation. The governor has created a time-limited rebuttable presumption for accessing workers’ compensation benefits applicable to Californians who must work outside of their homes during the stay at home order.
In other words, the state will assume that any worker contracting the COVID-19 virus was exposed at work and not elsewhere.
“We are removing a burden for workers on the front lines, who risk their own health and safety to deliver critical services to our fellow Californians, so that they can access benefits, and be able to focus on their recovery,” the governor said. “Workers’ compensation is a critical piece to reopening the state and it will help workers get the care they need to get healthy, and in turn, protect public health.”
Those eligible will have the rebuttable presumption if they tested positive for COVID-19 or were diagnosed with COVID-19 and confirmed by a positive test within 14 days of performing a labor or service at a place of work after the stay at home order was issued on March 19, 2020. The presumption will stay in place for 60 days after issuance of the executive order.
Source link: California Department of Insurance
Oregon — Governor Brown & Budget Cuts:
Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement today on the state budget and upcoming May revenue forecast:
“One of the many challenging results of the COVID-19 pandemic is the dramatic impact on our economy. With many Oregon businesses restricted or shut down, travel suspended and jobs lost, we expect the revenue that we receive to fund state services will also be significantly reduced,” said Governor Brown.
“We anticipate a significant budget impact in the state revenue forecast coming on May 20, which will lead to some really difficult decisions. Our early discussions indicated this impact could be a reduction of $3 billion for the current budget period. We are exploring all available options to weather this recession, and I have directed state agencies to prepare prioritized reduction plans equaling a 17 percent reduction for the upcoming fiscal year as a planning exercise to explore all options. We haven’t made any final decisions, and the agency plans serve as important information gathering at this point. We know a potential cut of this magnitude would be extremely drastic.
“Whether the state will need to implement this level of cuts will be dependent on several factors, most importantly the need for additional federal funding to support state services, including our K-12 public school system. I will continue to work with Oregon’s congressional delegation in calling for more federal support. I will also work closely with Legislative leadership on the best ways to balance the budget. I am committed to doing so in a thoughtful, collaborative manner that explores all tools available.
“While these are uncertain times, one thing is clear: state employees are working many long hours to keep Oregonians safe and secure during this pandemic. In this time of crisis, Oregonians rely on state services more than ever, and cutting critical state services will be a last resort.”
Oregon — State issues emergency order for health insurance companies:
The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services issued a new emergency order for health insurance companies during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The order requires health insurance companies to:
Provide at least a 60-day grace period to pay any past due premiums
Pay claims for any covered services during the first 30 days of the grace period
Extend all deadlines for reporting claims and other communications, and provide members with communication options that meet physical distancing standards
The order is in effect through June 3 and will be extended in 30-day increments during the course of the COVID-19 outbreak.
READ THE COMPLETE ORDER: https://dfr.oregon.gov/business/reg/Documents/20200505-Health-Ins-EO.pdf
Washington — Contractors Insurance NW Sold:
Heffernan Insurance Brokers has purchased Olympia’s Contractors Insurance NW. Heffernan is an independent insurance brokerage out of Walnut Creek, California.
Contractors Insurance NW offers contractors insurance to contractors in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and Texas.
Heffernan sells a variety of financial services products and insurance.
Source link: Insurance Journal
Washington — Kreidler on Credit Scoring:
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is reminding consumers of a new federal protection that applies to how insurance companies use a consumer’s credit history.
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act and protects consumers during the coronavirus pandemic from any negative credit reporting as long as their accounts were in good standing before the pandemic started.
This protection also applies to how insurers use credit history to calculate how much consumers pay for auto and homeowners insurance.
“The initial focus of the act was on stimulus payments, but it’s also important to alert people to new protections regarding credit scoring,” said Kreidler. “Millions of people have lost their jobs and are likely struggling to pay their bills during this pandemic. It’s critical that we do what we can to make sure they’re not further harmed during these financially devastating times.”
The CARES Act:
Prohibits a creditor from reporting an individual’s delinquent payments to a credit reporting agency if the individual was up-to-date on their payments before the pandemic started.
If asked, a creditor may also allow an individual to defer one or more payments, make a partial payment, or modify a loan or contract.
The 120-day duration of the moratorium took effect March 27. It is likely to be extended until the federal administration declares an end to the current national emergency.
Kreidler has been a vocal opponent of the use of credit information in insurance and worked to restrict its use in Washington state early in his administration.
“I first heard about insurers using credit information 2001,” said Kreidler. “I thought it was incredibly unfair then and worked to limit its use. While some people may benefit, I still believe many more people are harmed by it.”
“I want people to know they have these new but temporary protections now and that I’m closely monitoring how insurers use credit information. If we see people are being harmed by its use, I’ll use my authority to limit the practice where I can.”
Washington state law restricts how insurers can use credit information when determining who to offer coverage to and how much to charge someone.
Anyone who believes their credit information has been misused by their insurance company should contact Kreidler’s consumer protection division either online or by calling 1-800-562-6900.