LEG REG REVIEW 2014, 35th Issue *** December 29, 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.

 

A NEW YEAR’S NOTE

We at PHILLIPS ASSOCIATES want to wish you a very Happy New Year.  Suffice it to say, 2014 was tumultuous and our business plan has adapted.  My firm will explore Internet-based CE as a supplement to traditional classroom teaching because many have expressed interest in taking CE from PHILLIPS ASSOCIATES via the Web.  Other new avenues will be to focus on obtaining grants for clients and video and film production.  Please always feel free to contact me with your suggestions and ideas.  That is why PHILLIPS ASSOCIATES has been in business since 1999.  If someone comes up with a good suggestion, we’ll probably run with it.  Have a great 2015!

Sincerely, Vince Phillips 

 

WOLF INAUGURAL TAKES SHAPE

Incoming Governor Tom Wolf and incoming Lt. Governor Michael Stack will be inaugurated January 20.  Ticket information: https://wolfinauguration.com/sections/events

 

10:30 a.m.                               Swearing-in of Lt. Governor Michael J. Stack III in the PA Senate Chamber

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon          Swearing-in of Governor Tom Wolf, State Capitol, East Wing (ticket)

1:00 – 4:30 p.m.                       PA Arts & Children’s Program, StateMuseum, North Street and 3rd, Hbg.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.                       Open House, Governor’s Mansion, 2035 North Front, Harrisburg

8:00 – 11:00 p.m.                     “Let’s Get Started” Inaugural Celebration, Hershey Lodge (ticket)

 

GALLAGHER NAMED TO WOLF TRANSITION

Ron Gallagher, President of the PA Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (PAMIC), is a new addition to the Wolf Transition Team for the Insurance Department.  Before joining PAMIC, he served as Deputy Commissioner at the Department.

 

SESSION DAYS ANNOUNCED FOR 2015

The Pennsylvania Senate posted its schedule for the first half of 2015.

 

Month             Session Days                         

January            6, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28

February          2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 25

March              2, 3, 4

April                13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22

May                 4, 5, 6,11,12,13

June                 1,2,3,8,9,10,15,16,17,18,22,23,24,25,26,29,30

 

QUALIFIED REINSURERS LIST PUBLISHED

The December 27 PA Bulletin published its annual list of qualified reinsurers that are not licensed by the Insurance Department but which are qualified to accept reinsurance from insurers licensed by the Department.  Details: https://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol44/44-52/2702.html

 

2015 FEDERAL REGULATORY CHANGES

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has new workplace accident reporting requirements effective January 1st.  All work-related fatalities must be reported to OSHA within eight hours (current requirement) and all in-patient formal admission hospitalizations, amputations and loss of  eye must be reported within 24 hours.  NOTE: Act 169 of 2014 (House Bill 1907 sponsored by Rep. Stan Saylor-R-York) requires hospitals to be clearer regarding whether the patient is in the hospital for observation versus being formally admitted.  Even employers normally exempt from routinely keeping OSHA records are required to comply with this Rule.  Notifying OSHA may be done utilizing a regional OSHA office, calling 1-800-321-6742, or reporting the accident on-line at www.osha.gov/report_online. Link: https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/
  • The US Department of Labor published a proposed Rule in the December 23 Federal Register to allow group health plan sponsors, in limited circumstances, to offer wraparound coverage to employees who are purchasing individual health insurance in the private market and through the exchange. The rule proposes two pilot programs for wraparound coverage. One of the pilots would allow wraparound benefits for part-time workers who could otherwise qualify for a flexible savings arrangement who enrolls in an individual market plan.  This is a supplement to coverage that could bring a part-timer’s coverage up to the level enjoyed by full-time employees. The Federal Register document can be viewed online here

 

SURPLUS LINES BULLETIN OUTLINES TAX FILING LICENSEE RESPONSIBILITY

On December 23, the PA Surplus Lines Association (PSLA) issued a Bulletin reminding those licensed to sell surplus and excess lines insurance to file PA Department of Revenue Gross Premium Tax Report (RCT-123) along with tax payment by January 31, 2015 for calendar year 2014.  The surplus lines tax is  three percent of premium and surplus lines licensees (wholesalers) are obligated to file (and pay) this tax.  The PSLA Bulletin stresses that the RCT-123 copy coming to PSLA must NOT show any Social Security numbers.  This copy is required to be uploaded and submitted to PSLA’s Electronic Filing System per Section 1621 of the Surplus Lines Law.  IMPORTANT:  This tax form must be filed with the Revenue Department  plus a copy going to PSLA even if the surplus lines licensee did not have any surplus lines business in 2014.  Resources include:

–          Tax Form RCT-123 — Gross Premiums Tax Report — Surplus Lines Agents — Print Only Version

–          PA Department of Revenue 717/783-6031, option 7, and then option 3

–          PSLA 610/594-1340 or dataservice@pasla.org.

 

REGULATORY UPDATE

  • LIA Holdings, Ltd., a Cayman Islands company, has filed an application to acquire control of Philadelphia Financial Life Assurance Company; a PA domiciled stock life insurance company.
  • The independent auditing firm Zelenkofske Axelrod, LLC, has issued an audit for the PA eHealth Partnership Authority, the state entity which governs the establishment of a medical records database which would allow access by health providers in order to reduce duplicative diagnostic medical tests.  Total assets are $12.8 million, liabilities $8.7 million, leaving a total net position of $4 million (figures rounded).

 

DELAWARE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION NOTE

According to Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau Circular 902, the Delaware Workers’ Compensation loss cost filing (Filing 1404) will be the subject of a Delaware Insurance Department hearing in mid-January 2015.  If approved, the filing envisions an overall decrease of 3.52% and would be effective back to December 1, 2014.  The DCRB Circular advises carriers to qualify rates on or after December 1st as “carrying tentative rates”.  Details: https://dcrb.com/circulars/d_pdf/de902.pdf

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