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 717/728-1164 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email email@example.com supplying both your name and e-mail address if you wish to be removed from this list.
CE REGULATION PUBLISHED
The January 29 edition of the PA Bulletin shows the text of the long-awaited Insurance Department Rule on insurance producer Continuing Education. This includes provisions affecting those producers who write Flood Insurance to meet the NFIP training requirements and a separate requirement for those writing long-term care insurance. For those in the long-term care market, please note:
- If you already sell, solicit or negotiate contracts of LTC insurance and have not met the training requirement of eight hours specific to LTC insurance, you have until April 1, 2012 to do so.
- Those who completed the training requirement previously (before the Department Rule was approved) shall be considered to be in compliance if they document their training per their transcript from www.sircon.com . Insurers must check before appointing producers to sell LTC products.
- The training required may not include training that is product-specific to any insurer or company or include any sales or marketing information, materials or training, other than those required by State and Federal law.
- The ongoing training requirement shall be at least 4 hours on LTC insurance in every subsequent 24- month licensing cycle.
- One item to note is that the one-hour mandated CE for those involved in qualified LTC Partnership plans may be included in the eight-hour training requirement. Please note the link below for the full text of the new Rule which is effective April 1, 2011.
OTHER INSURANCE REGULATIONS PUBLISHED
A number of other insurance regulations are also posted in the January 29 PA Bulletin. These include:
• Life valuation reserves standards; life actuarial opinion re regulatory adequacy
• Life mortality tables
• P/C actuarial opinion standards to address privacy concerns
SENATE DEMOCRATS FINISH LEADERSHIP LINEUP
Senate Democrats have rounded out their leadership selections so that the leadership team is Jay Costa (Allegheny) as Democratic Leader; Vincent Hughes (Phila.) as Appropriations Chair; Anthony Williams (Phila.) as Whip; Rich Kasunic (Fayette) as Caucus Chair; Lisa Boscola (Northampton) as Policy Committee Chair; and Wayne Fontana (Allegheny) as Caucus Administrator.
• February 1 is the date of the special Philadelphia election to fill the term of former Rep. Robert Donatucci. With an overwhelming Democratic registration, Democratic candidate and widow Maria Patelmo Donatucci is expected to win over Republican Lewis Harris.
• In Berks County the parties have chosen their nominees for the Senate seat opened up by the death of former Senator Michael O’Pake (D). Republican nominee is Berks County Register of Wills Larry Medaglia. He will face former Berks County Commissioner Democrat Judy Schwank.
CORBETT ADMINISTRATION SEEKS HHS FUNDING FOR adultBasic
In his first policy initiative, Acting Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine proposed to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) that some of the Federal Risk Pool monies not used by other states be re-allocated to assist those enrolled in Pennsylvania’s adultBasic program for the adult uninsured population and that PA’s adultBasic enrollees would not have to meet federal Risk Pool requirements for six months without insurance. PA has had some success in enrolling people in the PA Fair Care risk pool for those who could medically not otherwise get insurance while the national numbers are below capacity from some of the other states. These were established via the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act with $5 billion in funding for the Risk Pools before 2014. The Pennsylvania move was necessitated by adultBasic’s running out of money in February 2011. Originally funded by Tobacco Settlement money in the Ridge Administration, adultBasic moved under Rendell to be almost wholly dependent on the Community Reinvestment Agreement (CRA) using Blues’ reserves. The CRA expired December 31, 2010 without a replacement source of funding named.
NFIP SETS TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) announced that it plans to conduct two Flood Insurance training programs designed to enable PA insurance producers to meet the NFIP’s training requirements. Registration is free but attendees must pre-register. Scheduled are sessions in Erie February 8 and Lancaster February 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Details: 1(800) 427-4661 firstname.lastname@example.org or www.nfipiservice.com/training.
DATE SET FOR READING I DAY
April 14, 2011 is the date for the 2011 Reading I Day at the Crowne Plaza in Wyomissing. Keynote speaker is Scott Addis of the Addis Group who will speak on “The Great Escape: Essential Strategies to win the Battle Against Commoditization”. Also speaking is lobbyist Vince Phillips on “Legislation You Need to Know About”. This is the 50th anniversary of the Reading I Day. Details: Patricia Eggles 610/374-4040.
SENATE COMMITTEE ACTS ON ABORTION PPACA BAN
On January 25, the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee voted to move SB 3 (D. White-R-Indiana) to specify that any Exchanges operating in Pennsylvania not pay for abortions or post-abortion complications. No one is prohibited from purchasing non-Exchange insurance which does cover abortions. The vote was not unanimous however. The two dissenters were Philadelphia Democrats Larry Farnese and Anthony Williams. Minority Chair Mike Stack, also from Phila., voted with the majority to move the bill.
REPRINT FROM NAHU NEWS RESOURCE ON PPACA COST, THE DEFICIT and GRANDFATHERING
Foster: Healthcare Law Will Not Reduce Costs Or Allow Americans To Keep Plans.
The AP (1/27, Alonso-Zaldivar) reports, “Two of the central promises of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul law are unlikely to be fulfilled, Medicare’s independent economic expert told Congress on Wednesday.” The law “probably won’t hold costs down, and it won’t let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it, Chief Actuary Richard Foster told the House Budget Committee.” The AP adds, “The White House responded to Foster’s testimony in a blog post by Stephanie Cutter, a top aide helping to guide the political strategy on healthcare,” saying, “Once again, we disagree. … History shows that it is possible to implement measures that will save money for Medicare and the federal government.” The Hill (1/27, Pecquet) reports in its Healthwatch blog, “In addition to defending the administration’s commitment to reducing Medicare spending in the law, Cutter outlined several provisions of the law that aim to lower healthcare costs. These include state insurance exchanges, a new Medicare innovation center and incentives for healthcare providers to coordinate care.” She wrote, “These policies will bring down healthcare costs…but they are undervalued by the Actuary.