Statehouse passes H.B. 13 to update workers comp
procedural fee schedules to correspond to new codes created
since 2004 as well as new category II and III codes that follow
the American Medical Association and Health Care Procedure
Coding System. Sent to Senate.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Cal., and Sen. Barbara Boxer,
D-Cal., introduce Earthquake Insurance Affordability Act to
allow nonprofit programs like the California Earthquake
Authority to get federal loan guarantees for capital. They say
it would cut CEA premiums by 30% or deductibles by 50%.
Commissioner Michael McRaith appointed head of Federal
Insurance Office. He will move to D.C. job in June and will
give up his role in health insurance overhaul. >> FEMA
won’t decertify aging levees in southwestern part of
state near St. Louis. The Army Corps of Engineers says the
levees could need hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs to
get to FEMA accreditation standards before new flood maps that
either certify or decertify the barriers are issued.
Tom Whalen named director of Producers Division, which
qualifies and oversees agents and agencies, issues licenses,
gives exams, approves CE hours, and conducts background checks.
Whalen has been a policy examiner in the Life Division since
2006, and before that held underwriting roles at Kansas Farm
Bureau Financial Services.
First state to enact surplus lines multi-state compact
(Slimpact). Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, 10
states must enact a law joining the compact before a commission
can be formed to construct allocation formulas for sharing
premium tax dollars between states, to set uniform payment
methods and reporting requirements for policyholders and
surplus lines brokers, and to establish national eligibility
standards. Ohio and New Mexico followed with their own laws
within days of Kentucky’s action.
Workers comp bureau submitted filing that results in no
change to premiums until at least Sept. 2012. Insurers had
requested a 6.6% increase, but attorney general’s office
balked and threatened court action.
Senate passes S.B. 8, which assures state workers comp
system covers occupational disease and bars employees from
suing co-workers for workplace injuries. House adopted similar
measure, H.B. 162.
Statehouse and Senate pass workers comp reform bill,
H.B. 334, cutting rates. Supporters say WC premiums could drop
40% in three years through trimming benefits and cutting other
costs. Cuts include ending medical benefits for most permanent
partial disability claims 60 months after date of injury, with
possible two-year extension. Bill also allows insurer to
designate physician, and it mandates certain standards for
evaluating permanent impairment. Labor and trial lawyers
don’t like it. >> Enacts reform of captive
insurance law, allowing incorporated cell captives and
special-purpose captives. It also reduces required capital and
surplus for association captives.
Both houses pass bill blocking taxicab companies in the
state from using risk retention groups to purchase liability
insurance. Bill awaits governor’s signature. National
Risk Retention Association says it’s discriminatory and
direct violation of federal law.