California — Senior Driving Program: The California Department of Motor Vehicles likes ADEPT Driver’s Lifelong Driver program which — like ADEPT’s SMART teen program — helps the improve their driving skills and helps them stay independent.
DMV approval lets insurers discount the motor vehicle insurance for drivers over 55 who pass the course.
ADEPT CEO Richard Harkness said, “Lifelong Driver is a course for those serious about improving their crash avoidance skills. With Lifelong Driver, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in the way you drive, so you can maintain your freedom, independence and quality of life. And now, you will also notice a discount on insurance if you complete the program.”
Harkness said his firm’s program is better than other mature driver courses “because it is science based and uses validated psychometric driving simulations to target and improve the five factors that cause over 95% of mature driver crashes: visual awareness, hazard detection, judging safe gaps, risk assessment, and making safe lane changes.”
Source link: Insurance Business America
Montana — Third Highest Worker Deaths: The Bureau of Labor Statistics says Montana has the third highest worker death rate in the nation. For every 100,000 workers, 7.9 die as a result of work injuries. Those are 2016 rates and are up from 2015 where the rate was 7.5.
Only Wyoming and Alaska have higher rates.
Nationally rates are rising, too. The 2016 figure is 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers. It is the highest rate since 2010.
Julia Brennan of Montana’s Department of Labor said, “When you look at rates, the specific causes might get lost. When you start to look at the (individual cases), that's when you can figure out more about the circumstances. Rates created by small numbers are statistically fragile, so the changes in those rates might not be significant.”
By the way, the 7.9 of every 100,000 workers is 38 work-related deaths. That’s actually way less than states with greater populations.
Source link: Billings Gazette
Oregon — From the Department of Insurance: Division of Financial Regulation Bulletin DFR 2018-01 regarding Accepting Pharmacy of Medical Billings for Vaccinations Pursuant to House Bill 3276 (2017).
Click here to view HB+3276-vaccinations-bulletin.pdf
New Oregon laws help protect workers, consumers
The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) has announced several worker and consumer protection laws that took effect on Jan. 1.
“These new laws enable the department to further protect and advocate for consumers, workers and their families, in Oregon,” said Cameron Smith, acting DCBS director.
Expanding Oregon’s worker protection authority, Senate Bill 92 aligns Oregon OSHA’s penalties with federal OSHA’s, resulting in higher maximum penalties for employers that violate safety and health laws.
Other worker protection laws include:
• House Bill 2338 increases the allowed age of dependents of a worker who died on the job and simplifies eligibility for benefits. The bill allows a dependent to receive benefits until age 19 and specifies that the benefit level is the same regardless of the child’s dependence on the worker’s surviving spouse or age at the time of worker’s death. Benefits will be paid for up to 48 months when the dependent is in a post-secondary education or training program through age 26.
• Senate Bill 93 increased the Workers’ Memorial Scholarship Account, which awards scholarships to dependents or spouses of workers killed or permanently disabled on the job. The account increases from $250,000 to $1 million.
• House Bill 2337 raises the minimum and maximum benefit for workers receiving a permanent total disability award. The minimum went from $50 or 90 percent of the worker’s weekly wage to 33 percent of the state average weekly wage. The maximum is now 133 percent of the state average weekly wage, compared to the previous maximum of 100 percent of the state’s average weekly wage.
Protecting senior citizens from financial exploitation, Senate Bill 95 requires broker-dealers and investment advisors to report suspected cases of elder financial exploitation. Broker-dealers and investment advisors may delay account disbursements for up to 15 days if they suspect the disbursement will result in financial exploitation of a vulnerable person.
Other consumer protection laws include:
• Senate Bill 96 requires securities professionals to carry at least $1 million in insurance to cover losses due to bad acts. Securities professionals are required to have this insurance by July 31.
• Senate Bill 98 requires nondepository mortgage servicers to obtain a license from DCBS
• House Bill 2356 creates a licensing system for debt buyers, allowing DCBS to set standards and take action to protect consumers.
• House Bill 2391 establishes the Oregon Reinsurance Program to stabilize individual health insurance rates.
One important consumer protection law that is effective March 1 prohibits a practice known as balance billing. House Bill 2339 bans health care providers from billing consumers for amounts above what health insurance pays for when the consumer is in an in-network facility but is treated by an out-of-network medical provider.
Washington — From the Department of Insurance: Health insurers in Washington must cover 12 months of oral contraceptives at a time
Starting this year, health insurance companies in Washington state are required to cover a 12-month supply of birth control pills, rather than 12 separate 30-day refills.
The prescriptions are also provided to consumers at no cost, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. That means women can get a 12-month supply of birth control pills in one visit to the pharmacy without paying out of pocket. Before this year, women had to get refills once every 30 to 90 days.
Washington state Rep. June Robinson, D-Everett, sponsored the bill the passed the Legislature in 2017. She told KNKX that the bill was a way to remove barriers for women.
Need more information? Click here to read more about insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives on our website.