LEG REG REVIEW

2011, 1st Issue January 3, 2011

 

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 the legislative and regulatory scene in Pennsylvania that may be of interest to the Insurance and Business Communities.  It is a free member benefit for those who are members of the Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters (PAHU) or Manufacturers Association of South Central PA (MASCPA).  Subscription information may be obtained by contacting PHILLIPS ASSOCIATES at 717/728-1217 FAX 717/728-1164 or e-mail to xenobun@aol.com.  Please email jtrout2792@aol.com supplying both your name and e-mail address if you wish to be removed from this list.

 

HOUSE PICKS COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Both Republicans and Democrats designated who will chair the 2011-2012 PA House committees.  Major organizational developments are the elimination of the House Intergovernmental Affairs Committee which had been chaired by W. Curtis Thomas (D-Phila.) and Chris Ross (R-Chester) and the split of the House Health & Human Services Committee into two, the Health Committee and the Human Services Committee.  In all, there are ten new GOP chairs and eleven new Democratic chairs.  The other shift is ideological where some committees now have chairs more conservative than their predecessors.  New Labor Relations Committee Chair is Ron Miller (R-York); succeeds more moderate Gene Digirolamo (R-Bucks) who was re-assigned to chair the Human Services Committee.  Labor Relations Committee originates Workers’ Compensation legislation.  New State Government Chair is Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) replacing Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre) who is the new Finance Committee Chair.  The Finance Committee is pivotal since that’s where tax legislation originates. 

 

Continuity prevailed in two other committees although roles of the committee chairs were reversed with the Republican being the Majority Chairman.  Insurance Committee Chair is Nicholas Micozzie (R-Delaware) with Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny) becoming Minority Chair.  The Commerce Committee which handles banking and financial services is now chaired by Dick Hess (Bedford) with Peter Daley (Wash.) becoming Minority Chair.

 

Committee                              Republican (Majority) Chair           Democrat (Minority) Chair

Aging & Older Adult Services           Tim Hennesey (Chester)         Larry Curry (Montgomery)

Agriculture & Rural Affairs                 John Maher (Butler)                Joe Petrarca (Westmoreland)

Appropriations                                    Bill Adolph (Delaware)          Joe Markosek (Westmoreland)

Children & Youth                                Dennis O’Brien (Phila.)          Louise Williams Bishop (Phila.)

Commerce                                           Dick Hess (Bedford)              Peter Daley (Washington)

Consumer Affairs                                Bob Godshall (Mont.) Joseph Preston (Allegheny)

Education                                            Paul Clymer (Bucks)               James Roebuck (Phila.)

Envir. Resources & Energy                 Scott Hutchinson (Venango)  Bud George (Clearfield)

Game & Fisheries                                John Evans (Erie)                    Edward Staback (Lackawanna)

Health                                                 Matt Baker (Tioga)                  John Myers (Phila.)

Human Services                                  Gene DiGirolamo (Bucks)      Mark Cohen (Phila.)

Insurance                                            Nicholas Micozzie (Del.)         Tony DeLuca (Allegheny)

Judiciary                                              Ron Marsico (Dauphin)          Tom Caltagirone (Berks)

Labor Relations                                   Ron Miller (York)                    William Keller (Phila.)

Liquor Control                                    John Taylor (Phila.)                 Dante Santoni (Berks)

Local Government                              Tom Creighton (Lancaster)     Robert Freeman (Northampton)

Prof. Licensure                                    Julie Harhart (Lehigh) Harry   Readshaw (Allegheny)

State Government                                Daryl Metcalfe (Butler)           Babette Josephs (Phila.)

Tourism                                               Jerry Stern (Blair)                    Thaddeus Kirkland (Delaware)

Transportation                                    Richard Geist (Blair)               M McGeehan (Phila.)

Urban Affairs                                      Chris Ross (Chester)               W. Curtis Thomas (Phila.)

Veterans & Emergency Prep.             Stephen Barrar (Delaware)    Chris Sainato (Lawrence)

 

 

RED FLAG RULE SOFTENS

According to Reading-based Stevens & Lee, the Federal Trade Commission’s Red Flag Rule which became effective December 31, 2010, has been softened to reduce the numbers/types of businesses covered by the new privacy rule.  Originally advanced in 2007, the Red Flag Rule suffered enactment delays because of a succession of law suits from those interests claiming that they should not be considered as ‘creditors’ and thus subject to the Rule.  The Red Flag Rule governs a firm’s identification of business customers so as to reduce identity theft and lists privacy breach compliance requirements.  Traditional lenders such as banks, credit unions, and consumer discount companies are still governed by the December 31, 2011, Red Flag Rule.  Although not updated with this latest information, the FTC’s web site www.ftc.gov has a quick tutorial regarding the Rule.  The link to the Stevens & Lee material follows:

http://www.stevenslee.com/news/HC/redflagalert_phs_1210.pdf

 

LICENSE CYCLE FROM THE INSURANCE DEPARTMENT

The Insurance Department has asked PAHU and PHILLIPS ASSOCIATES to remind members and others in the Insurance Community that the licensing cycle has changed from two years from date of issue to two years from month of birth.  This change was implemented last spring resulting in a change in licensing cycles.  What this means is that the license expiration date on your printed license may not be accurate if your last renewal took place before April 2010.  A link to the Department Notice follows: 

Conversion to Birth Month Expiration Date for Individual Insurance Producers & Title Agents-Update

 

DECEMBER 31 MARKS END OF SURPLUS LINES 1609-X MORATORIUM

(This article is an excerpted reprint of the PA Surplus Lines Association December 15, 2010 Bulletin to Surplus Lines licensees.)

Per PSLA Bulletin of February 22, 2010, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department Directive 1609-X Filing Type, PSLA developed the process that became known as the 1609-X filing type. This process allowed surplus lines licensees to make filings that, for one reason or another, did not exist in PSLA’s database. In addition, the newly created 1609-X filing type enabled surplus lines licensees who never made filings in the first place to do so as required by law, without penalty. The discovery of these issues was a result of the reconciliation and examination process that has been in effect since June 2009.

In order to encourage surplus lines licensees to comply with these procedures, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department instituted a moratorium period during which surplus lines licensees have been permitted to waive the late stamping fee by selecting an “Omissions” box. During this moratorium period of March 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010 only the applicable stamping fee was due.  As indicated in the February 22, 2010 Bulletin, the moratorium period ends December 31, 2010. The availability of the “Omissions” box and the option to waive the late stamping fee will be eliminated for these procedures. In addition, the 1609-X filing type will only be available for use in certain circumstances approved by the Department. The use of the 1609-X filing type is a means to maintain database integrity where a violation has taken place.

 

FEDS ASK FOR INPUT ON VALUE-BASED INSURANCE DESIGN re PREVENTIVE CARE

The US Department of Labor, US Department of Health and Human Services, and the IRS posted a request in the December 28 Federal Register pages 81554-81547 for information regarding Value-Based Design (VBID) plans relative to preventive care services mandated by the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA), comments due by February 28, 2011.  According to the Notice, VBID plans are described as including “provision of information and incentives for consumers that promote access to and use of higher value providers, treatments and services”.  For more information please refer to:

http://webapps.dol.gov/FederalRegister/HtmlDisplay.aspx?DocId=24556&AgencyId=8