LEG REG REVIEW 2017, 27th Issue August 21st, 2017

WOLF NAMES TERESA MILLER ACTING DHS SECRETARY Governor Tom Wolf tapped Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller as Acting Secretary of the Department of Human Services (DHS) effective August 21.  She replaces Secretary Ted Dallas who is currently on medical leave.  (According to one media report from Altoona radio station WRTA, Dallas will serve as an advisor to Governor Wolf when he returns to work.)  Prior to becoming Insurance Commissioner in January 2015 at the start of the Wolf Administration, Acting Secretary Miller held government service in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) where she worked on the state-federal interface for the federally-facilitated marketplaces (exchanges) under the Affordable Care Act.  Before that, she served as Oregon’s Director of Insurance where she developed a state-based exchange.  Her tenure as PA Insurance Commissioner included many areas of overlap with the Department of Human Services some of which included integration of computer systems and transfer of CHIP administration to DHS. Miller had previously been designated as Governor Wolf’s choice to head the proposed combination of four Cabinet departments into one (Health, Aging, Human Services and Health). ALTMAN TO HEAD INSURANCE Governor Wolf also … Read More

LEG REG REVIEW 2017, 14th Issue *** April 3, 2017

TURZAI ATTACKS PREMIUM TAX EXPANSION On March 31, PA House Speaker Mike Turzai weighed in on Governor Wolf’s proposed expansion of the PA Insurance Premium Tax to heretofore untaxed insurance entities.  He said that “The Governor’s health insurance tax is broad-based and will mean higher premiums for families purchasing insurance in the individual market, for small businesses providing coverage to their employees, and even for seniors purchasing Medicare supplementary or ‘gap’ coverage.”  This issue is of top concern to the PA Association of Health Underwriters (PAHU) for their Day on the Hill April 25 and also for this week’s Day on the Hill by PA National Federation of Independent Businesses (MFIB).  Some background information: The proposed expansion is expected to bring in $141.5 million in new revenue to the General Fund per the Budget Office.  A different number also appears elsewhere in the same document, suggesting that the revenue from the expansion will be reflected in revenues of $569.5 million, up from a current $460.2 million – a difference of $109.3 million.  Source:  https://www.budget.pa.gov/PublicationsAndReports/CommonwealthBudget/Documents/2017-18%20Proposed%20Budget/2017-18%20Budget%20Document%20-%20Web.pdf The expansion will not affect for-profit health insurance companies which already remit the premium tax.  What it will do is to include new entities within the … Read More