Idaho — Idaho’s workers’ compensation rates to decrease for seventh consecutive year in 2024: The Idaho Department of Insurance (DOI) has reviewed and accepted the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) rate filing for an overall average 12.6% reduction in Workers’ Compensation rates. The decrease – which takes effect January 1, 2024 – marks the seventh consecutive year of rate decreases for Idaho employers and continues the overall downward trend of rates.
NCCI’s recommendation is based on claims volume, claims utilization, workforce, and wages, as well as any changes in rules or legislation. With IDOI’s acceptance of the 12.6% reduction, workers’ compensation insurers can now either adopt the NCCI rates without modification or propose to the Department’s review an adjustment from NCCI’s rates.
“The Department is pleased to announce another significant decrease to workers’ compensation rates. Rates have been on a downward trend for nine out of the past 10 years; seven of those years consecutively,” said DOI Director Dean L. Cameron. “This is in large part due to Governor Little’s leadership to preserve Idaho’s strong economy.”
Employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance, which is designed to cover their employee’s medical costs associated with any workplace injuries. It also provides wage replacement benefits to injured workers for lost work time. In exchange, employers are protected from litigation should an employee be hurt on the job.
NCCI annually collects information about the workers’ compensation system and submits proposed rates to the Department of Insurance for review and approval. The Department continues working with the NCCI to keep rates low for Idaho businesses and Idahoans.
Oregon — The Workers’ Compensation Division has published final (permanent) rules to its website: OAR 436-070, Workers’ Benefit Fund Assessment,
No public testimony was submitted. However, the Department of Consumer and Business Services presented testimony that the rate of the assessment should be lowered to 2.0 cents per hour worked. The rate will be lowered to 2.0 cents per hour worked for CY 2024.
A summary of the testimony and agency responses is posted here:
Summary of changes:
Amended rule 0003 includes the effective date for OAR 436-070, and this date will be revised from Jan. 1, 2022 to Jan. 1, 2024.
Amended rule 0010 will set the 2024 Workers’ Benefit Fund (WBF) assessment rate. The WBF assessment rate will be lowered to 2.0 cents per hour for calendar year 2024.
Increases bond amounts that persons licensed by Construction Contractors Board must maintain. Takes effect on 91st day following adjournment sine die.
CCB Rulemaking Notice HB2922
A hearing is scheduled to accept public comment on proposed rules to implement House Bill 2922 (2023).
Hearing Date: November 15, 2023
Hearing Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Beardsley Building, 1st Floor Hearing Room
201 High Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
Questions and comments can be directed to the Rules Coordinator at Shannon.Flowers@CCB.oregon.gov.
Oregon — Oregon Division of Financial Regulation to host Scam Jam event Nov. 17 in Medford: The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR), along with partners from AARP, the Oregon Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Division, Oregon Department of Human Services, Aging & People with Disabilities, Construction Contractors Board, and the Federal Trade Commission, will be presenting a fraud prevention workshop in southern Oregon.
Those in attendance will learn from experts on how to spot scams and gain prevention tips and tools to protect against fraud.
Scam Jam will be held Friday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Rogue Valley Country Club, located at 2660 Hillcrest Road in Medford.
Breakfast will be provided and pre-registration is encouraged. People can register for the event online at https://events.aarp.org/SOScamJam or call 1-877-926-8300.
“We have a great lineup up speakers to help educate Oregonians on what to look for regarding fraud and scam prevention,” said TK Keen, DFR administrator. “Scams are getting more sophisticated and harder to decipher so the more aware the public is, the better everyone is.”
If you believe you may have been scammed, DFR has resources to help you. Consumer advocates are available by calling 1-888-877-4894 (toll-free) or emailing email@example.com. DFR’s website is also a good resource for information or help.
Oregon — DFR enters multistate settlement with ACI Payments Inc. for unauthorized transactions: The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) joined 43 other state financial agencies in reaching a settlement with ACI Payments Inc. (ACI), for erroneously initiating electronic transactions totaling $2.3 billion from the accounts of 480,000 mortgage-holders nationwide.
State regulators levied $10 million in fines through a multistate enforcement action. In Oregon, there were over 13,000 erroneous ACH entries affecting nearly 5,000 accounts. The dollar value of transaction in Oregon alone was over $23 million. Additionally, 50 state attorneys general, including the Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, levied an additional $10 million in fines to ACI, in coordination with state regulators.
Before the settlement, the erroneous charges were corrected by ACI.
ACI Payments, a subsidiary of ACI Worldwide Corp., is a state-regulated money transmission business licensed in Oregon and nearly all other U.S. states (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System ID 936777). ACI acts as a vendor for mortgage servicing companies by processing borrowers’ mortgage payments through its Speedpay platform. State regulators determined that ACI erroneously used live customer data in a test of its Speedpay platform, causing unauthorized mortgage payments to be processed from customer accounts. State regulators commenced a multistate money transmission investigation reviewing all aspects of the event. The state regulators believe the error was due to defects in ACI’s privacy and data security procedures and technical infrastructure.
“DFR will use its enforcement authority against companies that fail to have sufficient data security and internal controls in place to protect Oregon consumers,” DFR Administrator TK Keen said. “This settlement demonstrates how state regulators and state attorneys general can work together to hold companies accountable, and to ensure consumers can confidently and securely pay their loans online without fear of unauthorized payments being made on their behalf.”
This enforcement action orders the following of ACI Payments Inc.:
- Risk and compliance programs – Maintain a comprehensive enterprise risk management program and a third-party risk management program tailored to the nature, size, complexity, and risk profile of ACI.
- Agreement monitoring – Regular reporting (for two years) to a state regulator monitoring committee to ensure both the adequacy of the risk management programs and compliance with the order.
- Administrative costs and penalties – Payment of $10 million in fines for administrative costs and penalties.
Here is the settlement agreement and order: https://tinyurl.com/5dcb6z3n.
Washington — Brown & Brown Purchases Pacific Underwriters: Brown & Brown purchased the brokerage and program manager, Pacific Underwriters last week. Terms weren’t disclosed but the company will continue doing business from its Seattle headquarters.
Washington — Eliminating prelicensing education requirements for insurance producers rulemaking (R 2023-04): We adopted the Insurance Producer Pre-licensing Education rule R2023-04 on October 18, 2023. The rule takes effect on November 18, 2023. This rulemaking removes rule language referencing pre-licensing education in Chapter 284-17 WAC following the passage of HB 1061, which eliminated the pre-licensing course study requirement for resident producer applicants. The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure existing state insurance rules align with state law.
For more information, including the adopted rule (CR-103) and the concise explanatory statement, please visit the rule’s webpage — https://bit.ly/3tMuVre
Washington — Consolidated Health Care (R 2023-07) proposed rule posted: We have released the proposed rule language on R 2023-07. The Commissioner is proposing this rulemaking due to the passage of recent health care and insurance-related legislation. These rules will ensure all affected healthcare and insurance entities understand their legal rights and obligations under the new legal framework. This effort includes updating regulatory definitions for emergency medical condition and prior authorizations, clarifying hearing instrument coverage requirements, updating telemedicine timeframes, providing guidance for health care benefit manger and health carrier contract reporting requirements, and clarifying cost sharing for abortion and diagnostic or supplemental breast exams
We scheduled a public hearing on the rule:
When: November 21, 2023, at 9:00a.m.
Comments on the proposed rule language are due [insert date: November 22, 2023; please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Washington — Kreidler fines UnitedHealthcare $500,000 for not demonstrating compliance with mental health parity laws: Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has imposed a $500,000 fine against UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company (UHIC) for failing to demonstrate how it administers its mental health and substance use disorder benefits in accordance with state and federal laws. Half of the fine — $250,000 — is suspended, pending adherence to a compliance plan.
“We expect companies to deliver critical benefits to consumers who need them, without barriers, and to demonstrate their compliance when asked,” Kreidler said. “If they cannot do so, we will hold them accountable.” UHIC failed to sufficiently demonstrate to Kreidler’s office how the company administers its mental health and substance use disorder benefits, despite at least four separate requests made between 2019 and 2021