The Western Alliance is proud to announce CPIA designation courses will be available via webinar format beginning in January 2024 at piawest.com.  

 

Check our calendar of events for course informatioin.  

Registrations will be open soon!

CPIA - Certified Professional Insurance Agent

Empowering Insurance Professionals into the Future

The CPIA designation is first-of-its-kind, hands-on, how-to training. To earn the CPIA designation candidates are required to participate in a series of three, one-day seminars THE BEST PART IS NO EXAMS!
Completion is due three years from the first course.

These seminars are designed to enhance the ability of producers, sales support staff, and company personnel to efficiently create and distribute effective insurance programs. Participants leave with ideas that will produce sales results immediately.

While not a requirement, it is recommended that courses are taken in order.E&O Discounts apply for Utica National Policy Holders.

Each of the 3 courses are approved for 7 CE in
AZ | CA | ID | MT | NM | NV | OR | WA

Course Modules

CPIA 1
Position for Success

CPIA 2
Implement for Success

CPIA 3
Sustain Success

During this workshop, participants focus on internal and external factors affecting
the creation of effective business development goals.

Factors discussed include:

current state of the insurance                 marketplace

competitive pressures

insurance carrier underwriting criteria

consumer expectations.

During this workshop, participants learn:

specific tools for analyzing consumer needs

how to utilize risk identification techniques to gather pertinent prospect
information

skills necessary to assimilate information gathered into customized coverage recommendations

how to prepare a complete submission

tips for preparing and presenting a comprehensive insurance proposal

This workshop focuses on fulfilling the implied promises contained in the insuring agreement.

Participants will:

review methods of providing evidence of insurance coverage

discuss policies and procedures for controlling errors and omissions including policy review and delivery, endorsements, claims-processing, and handling of client complaints

learn how to calculate the lifetime value of a client and techniques for generating referrals.

CPIA Update Requirement

The Certified Professional Insurance Agent designation stands for professionalism, commitment to professional training and results, and technical knowledge. To maintain the right
to use the CPIA designation, designees must complete an update on an annual basis * or maintain a Ruby, Sapphire or Diamond level membership with the CPIA Program.

* CPIA 1, CPIA 2, CPIA 3, Special Topics:

An Agent’s Guide to Understanding and Mitigating Cyber Exposures

Disaster and Continuity Planning for Business and Families

An E&O Loss Control Program for Agencies

Idaho — Bingham County agent sentenced for insurance fraud: The Idaho Department of Insurance (DOI) announced today that Scott Packham of Blackfoot, Idaho was sentenced in Bingham County for felony Misappropriation of Trust Funds.

In a plea agreement with prosecutors from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, Packham plead guilty to one felony count of Diverting Fiduciary Insurance Funds under 41-1024(3), Idaho Code, and was sentenced on February 7, 2024.

Two of the victims attended the sentencing, one of whom gave an impact statement. The individual explained that they suffered a broken pipe and water damage in their home during the time when their insurance policy was terminated, due to Packham keeping the premium money. Fortunately, the insurance company reinstated the policy and honored the claim after the customer was able to prove they had paid the premium to Packham’s agency.

Packham was sentenced to three years prison (one year fixed and two years indeterminate). The judge suspended the sentence, and Packham was placed on two years of supervised probation. He must serve 100 hours of community service, and pay fines and restitution to the DOI, individual victims and insurance companies. The DOI revoked Packham’s insurance license in November 2020.

“Idaho Insurance Code exists to protect Idaho consumers, and agents are required to abide by it,” said Director Dean Cameron. “Misconduct by licensed agents is not tolerated by the Department.”

Washington — Third RFI for BBPA dispute resolution mechanism: On February 1, 2023, OIC released a request for information (RFI) for the Balance Billing Protection Act (BBPA) dispute resolution mechanism. OIC solicited comments as to whether, under the authority provided in RCW 48.49.040, Washington state should transition to the federal No Surprises Act Independent Dispute Resolution (NSA IDR) process on July 1, 2023 or continue to use the BBPA arbitration system to resolve disputes between carriers (or self-funded group health plans that have elected to participate in the BBPA) and nonparticipating providers.

On February 27, 2023, in response to comments received to the request for information, OIC announced that it would be delaying transition to the NSA IDR system for a minimum of six months.

On July 20, 2023, OIC released a second RFI related to the BBPA dispute resolution mechanism. OIC solicited comments as to whether, under the authority provided in RCW 48.49.040, Washington state should transition to the NSA IDR process on January 1, 2024 or continue to use the BBPA arbitration system to resolve disputes between carriers (or self-funded group health plans that have elected to participate in the BBPA) and nonparticipating providers. Comments were due August 4th, 2023.

On August 3, 2023, due to the ruling in Texas Medical Association, et al. v. United States Department of Health and Human Services the NSA IDR process was temporarily paused and was no longer accepting newly initiated disputes. It was reopened on December 15, 2023.

On September 1, 2023, in response to comments received during the RFI and the above ruling OIC announced it would be delaying transition to the NSA IDR system for a minimum of six months or July 1, 2024.

We are now releasing a third RFI related to the BBPA dispute resolution mechanism and soliciting comments as to whether Washington state should transition to the federal NSA IDR system on July 1, 2024, or continue to use the BBPA arbitration system to resolve disputes between carriers (or self-funded group health plans that have elected to participate in the BBPA) and nonparticipating providers. For more information on this RFI or the BBPA please visit our webpage on arbitration.

Comments on this RFI are due February 22, 2024; please send comments to Policy & Legislative Affairs. OIC will provide an update on this issue on or before March 1, 2024.

Washington — Renowned Washington state consumer program celebrates 45th anniversary: A small volunteer effort that started in Mount Vernon and grew into one of the nation’s most popular senior customer assistance programs is celebrating 45 years of work.

The Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program, part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC), has spent more than 40 years providing hundreds of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries in Washington state with free, unbiased and confidential counseling services.

SHIBA helps people in every corner of the state with questions about enrolling in Medicare, switching plans, getting prescription drug help and reporting Medicare fraud.

“People will stop to thank me for the SHIBA program and tell me how it has helped them or a loved one,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “It saved some people money on their health insurance and it helped some people find the right health coverage. I’m incredibly proud of the work they’ve been doing for more than four decades to support seniors in our state.”

In 1976, a group of Mount Vernon volunteers acquired funding as part of a pilot program to help counsel senior citizens on health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. The OIC noticed and Dick Marquardt — state insurance commissioner at the time — officially endorsed SHIBA in 1979, establishing the program as a statewide effort. 

SHIBA’s impact grew in the eyes of senior health advocates and consumers across the state. In 1990, it inspired the federal government to create the national State Health Insurance Assistance Programs. The federal program provides seniors with health insurance assistance in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico, Guam, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The people who choose to become a SHIBA volunteer find great meaning and satisfaction helping others in their community,” said Tim Smolen, SHIBA Program Director. “Many of the people who contact us are struggling to understand their Medicare options and feel overwhelmed. It’s empowering to our volunteers — who are also Medicare-age — to feel they made a difference in someone’s life. It’s a win for both parties.”

The OIC is hosting several SHIBA events across the state this year to recognize the journey over the last 45 years. This includes celebrating the current 250 dedicated volunteers and their organizations, who are at the heart of the program’s success.

Find out more information about SHIBA, its volunteer program and the anniversary celebration.

About SHIBA

The SHIBA program provides information on all the parts of Medicare, Medigap (Medicare Supplement) and Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid programs, employment-related health benefits, long-term care options, fraud and abuse, and much more. We answer questions, make referrals, help evaluate and compare health insurance policies, make public presentations, and more. For people getting ready to enroll in Medicare or those already on Medicare who have questions, can call SHIBA at 800-562-6900 or contact us online.

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of February 5, 2024

Idaho — Unexpected Medical Bills and the No Surprises Act: Market Oversight Bureau Chief Shannon Hohl sat down with KTVB last month to discuss how Idahoans can protect themselves against surprise medical billing. The No Surprises Act is meant to help Idahoans avoid unexpected high medical bills when they receive care from an out of-network …

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of February 5, 2024 Read More »

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of January 29, 2024

Oregon — To all entities transacting insurance in Oregon: The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has issued a bulletin regarding Paid Leave Oregon as an “Other Benefit” that reduces Short-Term Disability benefits. Purpose This bulletin provides guidance on the Division of Financial Regulation’s (DFR) expectations of insurers who write Short Term Disability policies, in light …

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of January 29, 2024 Read More »

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of January 22, 2024

Washington — Report on Washington Legislature from PIA Washington Lobbyist Christine Brewer: Fast-paced 60-day legislative session kicks off with record number of bills introduced, priorities staged for advancement, and six citizen initiatives in the background This year’s legislative session began on Monday with opening ceremonies, an iteration of caucus priorities, and on the House side, …

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of January 22, 2024 Read More »

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of January 9, 2024

California — Lara & Auto Insurance News Release: Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today took action to protect California drivers’ access to auto insurance by issuing a Bulletin to personal auto insurance companies throughout the state. The California Department of Insurance continues to receive numerous complaints from consumers who have been having issues obtaining auto insurance …

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of January 9, 2024 Read More »

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of January 2, 2024

California — Lara’s Update on Sustainable Insurance Strategy: Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara told California Assembly members at a legislative oversight hearing that “California is at an insurance crossroads and for many Californians this is an insurance emergency.” He underscored the need for marketplace reforms, with the FAIR Plan reporting 20 percent growth of policies in …

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of January 2, 2024 Read More »

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of December 11, 2023

Oregon — All entities offering health benefit plans in Oregon: The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) proposes to issue the attached bulletin regarding interim guidance for health benefit plans for Section 20 of 2023 Oregon House Bill 2002 (gender-affirming treatment).  Purpose: The purpose of this bulletin is to provide guidance for health benefit plans …

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of December 11, 2023 Read More »

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of December 4, 2023

Montana — Montana Free Press look at 2024 Election: For those living in Montana, this is a very good piece of journalism on the election in 2024. The focus is national races and some critical state races. Here is a link to the story: https://montanafreepress.org/2023/11/28/whos-running-state-federal-office-montana-2024-election/?utm_medium=email Oregon  — Governor Appoints Council on AI: In response to …

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of December 4, 2023 Read More »

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of November 27, 2023

Washington — Audio-only telemedicine report: In 2021, the Washington state Legislature enacted Engrossed Substitute House Bill (ESHB) 1196, concerning audio-only telemedicine. In accordance with Section 8 of ESHB 1196, OIC has published its report on audio-only telemedicine. For more information, including a copy of the report, please visit the OIC’s legislative and commissioner reports webpage. …

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of November 27, 2023 Read More »

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of November 20, 2023

Oregon — Bulletin DFR 2023-5: Withdrawal of Bulletins DFR 2020-7, 2020-8, 2020-9, 2020-10, 2020-11, 2020-13, and 2020-14: To all entities transacting insurance in Oregon; all Oregon-regulated lenders and loan servicers; all Oregon-regulated pawnbrokers; all Oregon regulated collection agencies and debt buyers, The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has issued a bulletin regarding the withdrawal of …

Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of November 20, 2023 Read More »