LEG REG REVIEW 2015, 10th Issue *** March 16, 2015

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 ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES HEALTHY PA PHASEOUT

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has released a timeline detailing the Administration’s plan for expansion of traditional Medicaid.  By September 30, all individuals enrolled in Healthy PA’s private coverage option will be rolled into a new adult benefit package with coverage provided by DHS managed care organizations.  The Wolf Administration promised that no one would see a gap in coverage.

 

HIGHMARK GIVES ANTHEM PRIVACY REASSURANCE

Highmark sent a March 2015 letter to policyholders saying that Highmark is not directly affiliated with Anthem but some policyholders may have been serviced in an Anthem area in the last ten years.  The Anthem service area includes California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  The letter said that Highmark systems were not affected by this massive privacy breach.  Information on Anthem’s response to the February 2015 breach is accessible at www.anthemfacts.com.  Anthem is providing 24 months of identity theft repair and credit monitoring services to current or former members with an Anthem plan dating back to 2004.  These include Amerigroup, Empire Blue Cross, Caremore, and Unicare as well as Anthem.  More details: https://anthem.allclearid.com 877/263-7995.  FYI, a March 11 article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette put the number of potentially affected Highmark policyholders at 51,867.  Nationally, 78.8 million Anthem customers were potentially affected.

 

MORE LEGISLATIVE BRIBERY CHARGES

More Philadelphia members of the General Assembly are being charged with bribery by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.  Identified are current House members Louise Williams Bishop and Michelle Brownlee and former Representative Harold James who served until 2008 and again in 2012 to fill out an unexpired term.  All are accused of taking bribes from a lobbyist working as an undercover operative.  Previously charged were Rep. Ron Waters and Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown.  The scandal reverberated at the state level when Attorney General Kathleen Kane stopped the state investigation, saying that it was flawed and appeared to have racial overtones since all accused legislators are African-American.  When Kane opted out, Philadelphia District Attorney Williams chose to continue the investigations.

 

RANDY ROHRBAUGH RETIRES FROM INSURANCE DEPARTMENT

Since 1996, Randy Rohrbaugh has played an important role within the PA Insurance Department as Director of the Property Casualty Bureau, Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Product Regulation, and finally becoming Executive Deputy Commissioner in 2005.  Prior to government service, he worked in the insurance industry for 25 years and was a Vice President of the former USF&G Insurance Company.  He joins another high-ranking Department official, Ron Gallagher, who left the Department in 2014 to become President of the PA Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and Department Counsel Terry Keating who retired in December 2014.

 

PHILADELPHIA POLITICS… Rep. Cherelle Parker (D-Phila.) has thrown her hat into the ring in a contest for City Council for the 9th District where she faces five Democratic primary opponents…Senator Anthony Williams (D-Phila.) is in the Democratic primary for Philadelphia Mayor.

STATE PUTS HIGHMARK/UPMC CONSENT IN SPOTLIGHT

On March 5, the Wolf Administration issued a press release from both Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller and Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy outlining its positions on implementation of the Consent Decree between Highmark and UPMC resulting from their contractual dispute.  Details: 877/881-6388.  Positions include:

–          Highmark members in a “continuing course of treatment” with a UPMC health care provider can continue to receive in-network care at in-network rates through June 30, 2019.

–          Highmark patients who received UPMC provider care before January 1, 2015 decide (in consultation with his/her treating physician) whether or not to continue receiving care from the UPMC provider.

–          Highmark members with cancer will have in-network access to all UPMC services

–          Those over 65 covered by Medicare, Medigap or a Highmark Medicare Advantage plan (except for Community Blue Medicare) will have access to UPMC providers on an in-network basis.

–          Individuals covered under Medicaid and CHIP will continue to have access to UPMC providers on an in-network basis.

 

NFIP OFFERS FLOOD INSURANCE WEBINAR

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is offering a free, no CE credit, two-part webinar on March 18 and 19 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.  It includes a Standard Flood Insurance Policy’s major coverage areas, the FEMA Elevation Certificate, Mapping Changes and more.  Details: webinars@h2opartnersusa.com

 

BUDGET NOTES

A reader asked about the Wolf Administration FY 2015-16 budget proposal for the Department of Banking & Securities.  Their budget is broken into two parts, Banking Fund and Securities Fund.  Banking would have $25.178 million; up from the current year’s 23.83 million.  Securities would have $8 million, up from $7.9 million.  The Banking & Securities Department staff complement remains at 234 job slots.  NOTE: This agency budget is not funded out of the General Fund. Rather, its monies come from fees and fines from the industry.

 

Selected Appropriations Committee hearings this week on the Budget:

Senate:  Governor’s Office; Governor’s Budget Office; Independent Fiscal Office; Attorney General; Treasury

House: Transportation; Labor & Industry; Health; Dept. of Drug & Alcohol Programs; Education; Conservation & Natural Resources

 

Schedule details for the PCN broadcast of Appropriations Committee hearings are found at https://pcntv.com/schedule/?d=2 .  Details of the Governor’s proposed Budget are available at https://www.budget.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/office_of_the_budget____home/4408

 

NAIC ISSUES CYBER DRAFTS

On March 13, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) issued two draft documents dealing with cyber security and insurance.  The first is a draft of Principles for Effective Cybersecurity Insurance Regulatory Guidance, developed by the Cybersecurity (EX) Task Force. This document will help state insurance departments identify uniform standards, promote accountability, and provide access to essential information. It also outlines the process for working with the insurance industry to identify risks and offer practical solutions.

 

The second draft document, the Annual Statement Supplement for Cybersecurity policies, comes from the NAIC’s Property and Casualty Insurance (C) Committee. Interested parties may provide comments about the exposures by March 23rd. Comments will facilitate discussion at NAIC’s Spring National Meeting in Phoenix at the end of the month. Written comments should be sent to psimpson@naic.org.

 

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