Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of July 1, 2024

Idaho — Consumer Alert: Change Healthcare to start notifying customers who had data exposed in cyberattack: The Idaho Department of Insurance (DOI) is updating consumers on the disruptions to healthcare services caused by the February 2024 Change Healthcare cyberattack. The event caused delays for some patients getting health care prior approvals, appeals, and claims processed.

On June 20, 2024, Change Healthcare announced they are starting to notify hospitals, insurers and other customers that they may have had patient information exposed in a massive cyberattack.

The company also said that it expects to begin notifying individuals or patients in late July.

Change Healthcare, a subsidiary of health care giant UnitedHealth Group, provides technology used to submit and process billions of insurance claims a year. Hackers gained access in February to its system and unleashed a ransomware attack, including stealing patient information.

The attack triggered a disruption of payment and claims processing around the country, stressing doctor’s offices and health care systems by interfering with their ability to file claims and get paid.

Change Healthcare says names, addresses, health insurance information and personal information like Social Security numbers may have been exposed in the attack. The company is still investigating.

In May, Change Healthcare announced anyone who is concerned they may have been impacted by the Change Healthcare cyberattack can sign up for free credit monitoring and identity theft protections for two years at https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/ns/health-data-breach.html. Consumers can also call a dedicated call center at 1-866-262-5342.

“Cybersecurity events are a very real concern, and we are working with insurance companies to ensure consumers are protected,” says Dean L. Cameron, Director of the Idaho Department of Insurance. “We hope Idahoans will contact our department if they are experiencing care or coverage delays due to this Change Healthcare service disruption.”

Idaho consumers can find updates on Change Healthcare’s efforts to deal with the cyber-attack at https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/ns/changehealthcare.html. They may also call DOI Consumer Affairs at 208-334-3419 or email consumeraffairs@doi.idaho.gov.

New Mexico — New Mexico Wildfire Losses $370 Million: CoreLogic said over 1,000 residential properties in New Mexico were completely destroyed or, at least, partly damaged by wildfires.

“Multiple, active wildfires in south-central New Mexico potentially impacted approximately 1,300 residential properties with a combined reconstruction cost value (RCV) of nearly $370 million,” the company said.

The Blue 2, Salt, and South Fork Fires began in May. Some are under control and some are still burning.

Source link: Insurance Journal — https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2024/06/27/781286.htm

Washington — Producer and Adjuster Licensing Requirements rule pre-publication draft posted

We released a pre-publication draft for the Producer and Adjuster Licensing Requirements rule (R 2024-06). This rule updates Chapter 284-17 WAC to align producer and adjuster licensing with Title 48 insurance laws and the upcoming National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) interface enhancement.

Key changes include: automatically including limited line credit insurance for producers already licensed in other areas, allowing insurance agencies to designate a new responsible licensed producer (DRLP) during renewal if the current DRLP is inactive, and simplifying fee structures for license cancellations to streamline processes and prevent delays. Additionally, the rule removes outdated exemptions for crop adjusters from continuing education (CE) requirements, reflecting a 2022 mandate for all licensed resident adjusters, eliminates references to pre-licensing education (PLE) due to a 2023 law removing PLE requirements for producers, and updates electronic submission processes to reflect fully electronic licensing.

Comments on the pre-publication draft are due 7/11/2024; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the text of the pre-publication draft, please visit producer and adjuster licensing requirements (R2024-06) webpage — https://bit.ly/3xwM22F

Washington — Balance Billing: During the 2024 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 5986 (SSB 5986) was passed to include ground ambulance service organizations in the Balance Billing Protection Act (BBPA).

OIC is updating the current consumer notice template to include these services. The consumer notice template informs consumers of their rights and protections against balance billing. Medical providers and facilities must make this available to consumers on their website and provide it to consumers if asked. Beginning January 1, 2025, ground ambulance services organizations also will be required to provide the notice to consumers and post the notice on their websites.  The OIC is releasing an updated draft of the notice and would like your feedback.

Please send your comments by July 10 to policy@oic.wa.gov.

If you’ve received this message, you are signed up to get all updates on our balance billing work. 

DRAFT-consumer-notice-suprise-billing-2024 with track changes.pdf — https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/WAOIC/2024/07/01/file_attachments/2924843/

DRAFT-consumer-notice-suprise-billing-2024%20with%20track%20changes.pdf

DRAFT-consumer-notice-suprise-billing-2024 without track changes.pdf — https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/WAOIC/2024/07/01/file_attachments/2924842/

DRAFT-consumer-notice-suprise-billing-2024%20without%20track%20changes.pdf

Washington — Kreidler fines Unite Health $300,000 for acting as an unauthorized insurer: Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler fined Unite Health Share Ministries $300,000 on June 28 and ordered it to stop selling insurance in Washington state. 

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner opened an investigation after receiving a complaint that Unite Health had paid only $5,000 on a consumer’s medical claim. The consumer was left with almost $200,000 in medical bills. “Protecting the people of Washington from predatory organizations is one of my office’s top priorities,” Kreidler said. “These companies promise coverage and leave consumers with massive medical bills. It’s an unacceptable practice and we have rules in place to prevent it.”

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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