California — Health Care Grant
This from the California Department of Insurance.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced today it awarded a $1.84 million grant to the California Department of Insurance to enhance enforcement of key market reforms under the Affordable Care Act.
The Health Insurance Enforcement and Consumer Protection Grant awarded to the Department of Insurance will provide resources to enable the department to enhance existing efforts to protect consumers by making sure insurers are in compliance with a number of requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The department was awarded federal funds to:
• enhance existing enforcement of non-discrimination standards in health insurer plan, network and formulary designs;
• enhance existing enforcement of no-cost coverage for preventive care services under Section 2713 of the Public Health Service Act;
• enhance existing review of Medical Loss Ratio reports; and
• enhance existing enforcement processes of parity in coverage of mental health and substance use disorder benefits under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.
"There continues to be more work to do to ensure consumers receive all the health insurance benefits they are entitled to without delay," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "This federal grant will enhance our existing consumer protection and enforcement efforts to make sure insurers are delivering on the promise of the Affordable Care Act in key areas of reform such as preventative health care and mental health parity."
The department will use the two-year grant in areas such as market conduct examinations, consumer complaint investigations, enforcement of the laws relating to parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits, preventive services, and medical loss ratio compliance. In some areas, the department will contract with medical professionals whose clinical expertise will assist the department in enhancing existing enforcement of the law.
New Mexico — Immigrant Driver’s Licenses: The New Mexico program to allow immigrants — legal and otherwise — to obtain driver’s licenses is slowing but it’s still approaching a four-year high.
The state says 3,886 foreign nationals picked up licenses from January of this year until the end October. That’s just a few shy of last year’s 4,026 for all of 2015.
Officials say the rush is because illegal immigrants want to pick up their licenses before the state changes its ID law to a federal standard.
Source link: Insurance Journal
Oregon — DFR Website changes
This from the Oregon Department of Insurance.
The Division of Financial Regulation Rates and Forms website is changing this weekend. It does not involve the whole site, only the Rates and Forms section will be affected. Filers using our website for filing requirements, to bookmark product standards, or have draft files in SERFF need to be aware that the website is changing its URL's. This will cause any links you have saved to not work.
Most of the documents will have a change of the name from "Insurance Division" to "Division of Financial Regulation," and the URL location for the document. We will work through our forms as soon as we can to update statute, rule, or federal references.
There will be one form, # 440-2448 ACA Major Medical Large Group Health Benefit Plans, that has been revised with current statute, rule and federal references
This e-notify was distributed to the following groups:
● Rates & Forms New Developments
● Product Standards updates
Oregon — Retirement Program: This is from the Oregon Department of Insurance.
With clock ticking to July launch, Retirement Saving Plan seeks business volunteers for pilot group, releases draft rules
A public hearing will be Dec. 15 to ensure proposed rules work well for employers and an estimated 1 million Oregon workers
The plan, which will make a workplace-based retirement savings option available to as many as 1 million Oregonians, is scheduled to debut in phases, starting in July 2017.
To prepare for that launch, the State Treasury is taking deliberate steps to help ensure the program works well for workers and employers. Passed by the 2015 Legislature, the plan will be available to those Oregonians who do not have access to a retirement savings option, such as a 401(k) plan, at work.
Workers who are eligible will automatically have a portion – initially 5 percent -- of their paychecks deposited into their own secure retirement accounts, unless they opt out.
After months of meetings with business representatives, payroll administrators and consumer groups, Treasury has released a detailed draft of administrative rules that spell out plan specifics and the roles of employers and record keepers. A rulemaking hearing is set for Dec. 15 to discuss the draft and potential changes.
To help achieve the goal of a smooth and orderly launch, the plan will be phased in over several years and will be coupled with public education efforts. The Oregon Retirement Savings Board is seeking businesses that want to be part of the initial pilot group of participants. Treasury is seeking a diverse group of employers for the pilot, both small and large in terms of number of employees and from different industries.
“Oregon is on track to be the first state in the nation to give employers and employees the ability to benefit from a state-based retirement plan, and Treasury is being deliberate to ensure the plan is simple, convenient and secure,” said State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, the chairman of the Oregon Retirement Savings Board. “When more people save for retirement, it will lead to a better quality of life and reduce the heavy burden on taxpayer-financed programs.”
More than half of the Oregon workforce does not have an available retirement savings plan at work, and studies show that people are 15 times more likely to save if an option is available through payroll deductions.
At the same time, an estimated half of young people are not saving for retirement, according to a recent poll by Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
The median level of savings is just $3,000 for working-age households and $12,000 for near-retirement households, per the National Institute for Retirement Security.
The Oregon plan will impose no fiduciary risk to employers, and clerical responsibilities will be kept low. The plan will not be a pension, will not be connected in any way to the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund, and will not offer any matching funds or any guarantee of performance by the state or employers.
Learn more about the plan at www.oregon.gov/retire. To inquire about being part of the pilot group or upcoming focus groups of employers and workers, please contact Joel Metlen, manager of public engagement, at 503-559-4154 or joel.Metlen@ost.state.or.us.
It is estimated that 64,000 businesses of all sizes will have employees that are eligible to participate in the plan. Comments about the proposed rules can be submitted in writing to the rules coordinator or during the public meeting on Dec. 15, which will be at the Tigard office of the Oregon State Treasury, 16290 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.
The Oregon State Treasury protects public assets and saves Oregonians money through its investment, banking, and debt management functions. State investment policies are set by the Oregon Investment Council. The State Treasury also promotes public outreach and education to help Oregonians learn strategies to save money, invest for college and make smart financial choices. You can learn more about the Oregon Treasury and Oregon Retirement Savings Plan on Twitter at @OregonTreasury.
Washington — Emergency Powers Rule Withdrawal
From the Washington Insurance Department.
Thanks for your interest in the Commissioner's Emergency Powers Rule from the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. We have some new information on this topic.
We have withdrawn the proposed language (CR-102) on the Commissioner's Emergency Powers Rule, R 2015-17. The CR-102 has been withdrawn because we have determined that further review is needed to understand the concerns raised by stakeholders. We anticipate restarting the rulemaking process in 2017.
For more information, including the proposed rule language (CR-102), please visit the rules webpage.