LEG REG REVIEW
2017, 4th Issue *** January 23, 2017
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 Pennsylvania legislation and regulations impacting 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email email@example.com supplying both your name and e-mail address if you wish to be removed from or added to this list. Whether it means meeting your CE need or helping with a particular problem/question, please visit our web site to explore how PHILLIPS ASSOCIATES may be of service to you, your employees and your clients. www.vphillipsassoc.com
SPECIAL ELECTION DATE SET
Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) announced that a special election will be held March 21 to fill the vacant Philadelphia House seat formerly held by Rep. Leslie Acosta before her conviction.
HOUSE INSURANCE TO HOLD HEARING
On February 8, the House Insurance Committee plans a hearing on prescription drug price transparency. It will address transparency issues akin to Minority Chair Tony DeLuca’s (D-Allegheny) House Bill 1042 from the last legislative session. To review the 2015 bill, please click here.
INSURANCE DEPARTMENT CLARIFIES NAVIGATOR ROLE
The PA Insurance Department edited its website to more clearly spell out limitations placed on what ACA navigators and certified application counselors legally can and cannot do. This was done in response to a request from the PA Association of Health Underwriters (PAHU) which held that consumers would be confused into thinking that a registered navigator could perform functions which can only be done by a licensed insurance producer per Act 147. Following is the language consumers will now see:
If you are a consumer looking for a health insurance navigator, click here. If you are looking for a navigator or assister for enrollment in the marketplace (exchange), please click below under “License type.” Please note that according to Pennsylvania law, navigators and exchange assisters are registered with the state and not licensed. Navigators and exchange assisters may help consumers with the insurance marketplace but may not sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance contracts.
Also on the PA Insurance Department website in the Navigator registration section, is a similar warning that navigator may not sell, solicit or negotiate an insurance contract. https://www.insurance.pa.gov/Licensees/Navigators/Pages/default.aspxcator
- Donegal Mutual Insurance Company has submitted a Plan of Merger with New Mexico-based Mountain States Casualty Company. The survivor of the merger would be Donegal.
- In the January 21 PA Bulletin, the PA Insurance Department published their annual Eligible Surplus Lines Insurer List. It replaces the one issued February 6, 2016. www.pabulletin.com
BILL INTRODUCTIONS OF INTEREST… HB 152 Quinn (R-Bucks) Amends Title 40 (Insurance), providing for a life insurance database. A re-introduction, this almost made it to the Governor’s desk in the last legislative session.… SB 148 (Boscola-D-Northampton) mandates health insurance coverage for infertility treatments.
PENNSYLVANIA GETS REAL ID REPRIEVE
The Federal Government has given Pennsylvania more time to comply with REAL ID, federal rules on Driver’s License identification. PA has until June 7, 2017, to pass legislation bringing us into compliance. Without the extension PA residents would not have been allowed to use their Driver’s License as identification for entering any federal facility (except for the US Postal Service). Senator Gene Yaw’s office provided the following informational links.
In a related development, House Bill 150 was introduced by Rep. Ed Nielson (D-Phila) on January 19 to repeal the earlier law that prohibited REAL ID compliance due to privacy concerns.
Senate Republicans announced their members’ membership in the various committees on January 20. The other three caucuses have not made similar announcements but are expected to do this coming week. Of interest to the Insurance Community is the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee. Note that Senator Daniel Laughlin (R-Erie) is new to the committee, replacing former Democratic minority chair Sean Wiley whom he ousted in the November election.
BANKING & INSURANCE
Don White, Chair (Indiana)
John Eichelberger, Vice Chair (Blair)
Tom Killion (Delaware)
Daniel Laughlin (Erie)
Thomas McGarrigle (Delaware/Chester)
Guy Reschenthaler (Allegheny/Washington)
Elder Vogel (Beaver)
Kim Ward (Westmoreland)
Gene Yaw (Lycoming)
In the House, there may be movement on the Democratic side where Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) had been reassigned from minority chair of the House Environmental Resources & Energy to the State Government Committee. It was learned on Friday that Rep. Matt Bradford (D-Montgomery) may be replacing him as the State Government Committee’s minority chair. In recent history, this committee has been a hot spot for Democrats since the Democratic chair must face off against conservative majority chair Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler).
CORRECTION: In the last LEG REG Review, an article about private sector (surplus lines) Flood Insurance incorrectly listed PA Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller as currently chairing the NAIC’s Property Casualty Committee. She held that position in 2016.