LEG REG REVIEW 2014, 34th Issue *** December 22, 2014

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).  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 or added to this list.

 

WOLF TRANSITION TEAM INDIVIDUALS NAMED

Transition Committees have been announced for the various agencies.  For the Insurance Department, members are:

–          Chair is T.J. Rooney, former State Representative who served on the House Insurance Committee

–          Pat Brier, attorney, Myers, Brier & Kelly, Scranton (civil and criminal law, fraud, RICO)

–          Patrick Casey, attorney, Elliot Greenleaf Law Firm, Scranton (medical malpractice)

–          Christopher Drumm, AmeriHealth Caritas Pennsylvania (Medicaid managed care plan)

–          Jo Ann Lawer, government affairs, LancasterGeneralHospital

–          Sam Marshall, President, Insurance Federation of PA (insurance company trade association)

–          Silas Russell, government affairs, SEIU Healthcare PA (union)

–          David Senoff, attorney, Carosell, Beachler, McTiernan & Conboy, Philadelphia (specialist in bad faith, HMO, class action, medical malpractice insurance cases)

–          Martin (Lenny) Torrence, Nationwide agent, Philadelphia

 

Labor & Industry (Workers Compensation) Transition Committee includes:  Co-chairs Matt Paules, IBEW (union) and former US Member of Congress Ron Klink; Union members are Pat Eiding, AFL-CIO, Antione Little, AFSCME, Jack Shea, AFL-CIO, Gary Masino, Sheet Metal Workers; Employer members include Linda Thompson, Johnstown Are Regional Industries, Scott Sheely, Lancaster Workforce Investment Board (WIB), Raymond Hoover, Hoover Rehabilitation Services, Inc., Paul Harrington, Association Business Solutions, Inc. and Mercer County WIB, Donna Allie, Team Clean, Inc. Harold Epps, PRWT Services, Inc. Others include Donald Generals, Community College of Philadelphia, Robert Krebs, PA Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and Deborah Willig, law firm of Willig, William & Davidson (labor law)

NOTE: LEG REG Review last issue incorrectly listed a Transition Team leader. The correction is former US Member of Congress Ron Klink from western PA (Labor & Industry).  We apologize for the error.

 

Department of Aging (Long-term care issues) Transition is chaired by Everette James, University of Pittsburgh.  Members include Mark Baiada, Bayada Health Care, Sheila Bourne, government affairs at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Maureen Cronin, Arc of Pennsylvania (formerly Association of Retarded Citizens), Brian Gralnick, Greater Philadelphia Jewish Federation, Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick, Crystal Lowe, PA Area Agencies on Aging, Randy Seitz, Penn-Northwest Development Corporation, Mick Smyer, Bucknell University, Barb Valaw, Valcott Enterprises, Debbie Winn-Horvitz, Jewish Association Aging, and Katrina Wise, Liberty Lutheran Services.

 

For other agency Transition members, please consult www.wolftransitionpa.com/sections/page/committee-members

 

HOUSE MEMBERS INDICTED

Two more House members were charged December 16 by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams for allegedly taking bribes. They are Philadelphia Representatives Ron Waters and Vanessa Lowery-Brown.  DA Williams took over investigation and prosecution after Attorney General Kathleen Kane opted not to pursue the matter because she felt that the investigation was flawed and possibly racially-motivated.

 

FEDERAL INSURANCE LEGISLATION DIES

Two pieces of major insurance legislation were not acted upon by the US Senate before its adjournment.  First is TRIPRA (Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, originally enacted after 9-11) which loses its statutory authority December 31, 2014.  On December 17, Property Casualty 360 published negative reactions from the property casualty insurance community, Big I, Professional Insurance Agents (PIA),  Insurance Information Institute (III), The Risk Management Society (RIMS), Property Casualty Insurers of America (PCI), American Insurance Association (AIA), National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), and others.

 

The second piece of legislation was National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB II), establishing a national insurance producers’ license, a long-term goal of the Council of Agents and Brokers (CIAB) which says that its members account for 80 percent of the commercial P/C market.  NARAB II was folded into the TRIPRA bill in hopes that both would finally pass Congress.  National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) issued a statement saying that “NARAB II would have allowed insurance agents to operate in multiple states more efficiently.” www.propertycasualty360.com

 

TAX NOTE

On December 10, the IRS issued Notice 2014-79 listing mileage rates for 2015: 57.5 cents per business mile, 23 cents per mile for moving or medical, and 14 cents per mile driven on behalf of charitable organizations.

 

REGULATORY UPDATES

  • The PA Compensation Rating Bureau submitted its loss-cost Workers’ Compensation filing to the Insurance Department December 16.  A link to PCRB Circular 1636 follows:

 

12/16/14 SUBMISSION OF APRIL 1, 2015 LOSS COST FILING

The PCRB has submitted a filing of Pennsylvania loss costs, related rating values and Manual rule changes with a proposed effective date of April 1, 2015. That filing, PCRB Filing No.C-365, proposes an overall average loss cost decrease of 5.99 percent.  For more detail refer to PCRB Circular No. 1636.

 

  • The Coal Mine Compensation Rating Bureau also filed Workers’ Compensation Loss Cost Filing which would, if approved, take effect April 1, 2015.  The Bureau is requesting a 7.1% increase.
  • The PA Insurance Department issued a press release stating that consumers who are confused as to the termination of contracts between Highmark and UPMC might avail themselves of website www.StayInformed.pa.gov  produced by the Department to answer questions and to outline key protections put into place through consent decrees signed by both parties earlier in 2014.
  • The cost of advocacy (lobbying) has increased 50% from $200 to $300 per the PA State Department for the new legislative session.  This fee is imposed on organizations seeking to influence the legislative process and is levied at the start of each new legislative session. (Regulation 16-56 (#3012)
  • PA Department of Health issued the 2015 list of permissible charges for production of records in response to a subpoena or request.  This list is updated annually and a link to the full list follows: 

https://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol44/44-49/2517.html  Per page charges for pages 1-20 can be up to $1.46 per page, $1.08 for pages 21-60, and 36 cents per page over 60.  There are also flat fees for supplying records to a district attorney or to support a claim under Social Security or other needs-based program.

 

NOTE: On December 18, the Public Utility Commission issued a conditional experimental license for ride-sharing company Lyft to operate in all of PA except Philadelphia. Details; Jennifer Kocher 717/787-5722, jekocher@pa.gov permit 

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