LEG REG REVIEW 2013, 35th Issue December 30, 2013

LEG REG REVIEW is a periodic newsletter produced by PHILLIPS ASSOCIATES, a professional lobbying and consultant firm located near the State Capitol.  It contains news on the legislative and regulatory scene in Pennsylvania that may be of interest to the Insurance and Business Communities.  It is a free member benefit for those who are members of the Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters (PAHU) or Manufacturers Association of South Central PA (MASCPA).  Subscription information may be obtained by contacting PHILLIPS ASSOCIATES at 717/728-1217 FAX 717/232-7005 or e-mail to xenobun@aol.com.  Please email jtrout2792@aol.com supplying both your name and e-mail address if you wish to be removed from this list.

 

TO ALL:  Thank you very much for your interest in Leg Reg Review and in the range of services offered by PHILLIPS ASSOCIATES whether through lobbying, Continuing Education, or answering specific questions to help agents understand PPACA or other specific legislative/regulatory queries.  As you may know, my firm began in 1999 and has grown to meet the many needs of insurance agents and others in the insurance industry.  For 2014, our pledge is to continue being a responsive and relevant asset to your firm or practice.  If you have specific needs or ideas on what services we should offer, please do not hesitate to let me know.  Thanks again for 2013 and Happy New Year everyone!

Vince Phillips

 

CONSEDINE ELECTED NAIC VICE PRESIDENT

At its winter meeting, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners elected Pennsylvania’s Michael Consedine as its 2014 Vice President.  Consedine has taken a leading NAIC role prior to this current honor.  He was chosen to vice-chair a task force looking at how states under a federally-facilitated marketplace (exchange) would operate, chairs the NAIC Reinsurance Task Force, and is Vice-Chair of the NAIC Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission.  Consedine is also in a pivotal position as the NAIC representative to the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance which advises the Federal Insurance Office created by the Dodd-Frank Act to oversee international insurance issues and to examine areas of potential federal regulation.

 

FEDS CALL FOR HYBRID STATE-FEDERAL REGULATORY SYSTEM

The Federal Insurance Office (FIO) issued its long awaited report December 12 and said that states needed to upgrade in certain areas or else there might be federal action, some of which include:

  • Standards for appropriate use of data for personal lines insurance pricing (insurance/credit scoring)
  • Enacting annuity suitability standards (PA did already)
  • Expanding insurance products governed by the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission which now includes life, annuities, disability income and LTC insurance
  • Assessing whether or not marital status is an appropriate underwriting or rating consideration
  • Adopting and implementing uniform policyholder recovery rules so that policyholders, regardless of where they live, receive the same maximum benefits from guaranty funds

A link to the FIO report follows: https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2245.aspx

 

NEW MORTGAGE RULES EFFECTIVE JANUARY 10, 2014

Another entity created by Dodd-Frank is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which has issued new mortgage rules effective January 10, 2014.  Some of these include:

–          Requirements for a Qualified Mortgage: limits on risky loan features such as interest-only loans; cap on a lender’s points at 3% of loan amount; underwriting rules 43% monthly debt-to-income ratio

–          Procedures a lender must follow when determining borrower’s ability to repay the loan; verification of certain consumer information and extension of ability-to-repay rules to the majority of closed-end transactions secured by a dwelling.

–          Details: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/

 

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY LISTS 2014 SESSION DAYS

2014 Senate Session Schedule

January           7, 13, 14, 15, 27, 28, 29

February         3, 4, 5

March             10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 31

April                1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 28, 29, 30

May                 5, 6, 7

June                 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

 

2014 House Session Schedule

January           7 (Non-Voting), 13, 14, 15, 27, 28, 29

February         3, 4, 5

March             10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 31

April                1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 28, 29, 30

May                 5, 6, 7

June                 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

 

HEALTHY PA (HHS WAIVER) HEARINGS (Continued)

Governor Corbett’s proposal to HHS regarding expanded Medicaid eligibility per PPACA would mean enrollment in the federally-facilitated exchange instead of traditional Medicaid. Obviously, there is a great more in his proposal.  For information or to testify in January, contact 877-8939 or  https://www.dpw.state.pa.us/healthypa .  Hearings are January 3, Philadelphia; January 6, Scranton; January 7, Altoona; January 9, Harrisburg.  A public hearing webinar is scheduled for January 8.  Interested persons or groups need to register in advance via https://www.dpw.state.pa.us/healthypa .

 

REGULATORY UPDATES

  • January 22, 2014 is the date of an Insurance Department hearing on a proposed acquisition of PA-domiciled stock casualty company Atlantic States Insurance Company by Gregory Shephard.  According to the request filed with the Department, the acquisition would be achieved through a tender offer to purchase of additional shares of Donegal Group, Inc. Details: Cressinda Bybee 717-787-8557
  • Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Lincoln Life & Annuity Co. of NY, and First Penn Life are the latest life companies to agree to a multi-state settlement regarding proper research by the companies in locating decedents using the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File.
  • The PA Dept. of Health announced the 2014 permissible charges for medical records:  Pages 1-20 may not exceed $1.44 per page; pages 21-60 $1.06; 61 plus pages @ 35 cents per page; Flat fee of $27.02 to support a Social Security or need-based program; $21.33 Flat fee for records requested by a district attorney.  Exempted are insurers seeking to validate medical services for which there is reimbursement.  These charges do not apply to X-rays.  Details: James T. Steele, Jr. 717-783-2500
  • On December 28, the PA Bulletin reported questions posed by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission on an Insurance Department proposed rule regarding insurance holding company systems. 

            https://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol43/43-52/2456.html

LEGISLATIVE ITEM

The House Insurance Committee reported House Bill 1837 (Pickett-R-Bradford) to eliminate the Insurance Department’s legal requirement to submit a hard copy report of numbers of Flood Insurance policies sold in the Commonwealth. This information is available from NFIP: https://bsa.nfipstat.fema.gov/reports/1011.htm

AND A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE FROM THE US CONGRESS…In a novel show of bipartisanship, the Pennsylvania delegation of the US House of Representatives ALL voted for House Joint Resolution 59, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013…God bless them, every one.

You May Also Like…

PA-NABIP Pulse February 2024

PA-NABIP Pulse February 2024 The Facts of the Month Here is something to mention when discussing coverage trends in...

PA-NABIP Pulse January 2024

PA-NABIP Pulse January 2024 The Facts of the Month Here is something to mention when discussing coverage trends in the...