Alert Edition July 2022

Welcome to the July 2022 edition of the FORC Alert. If you have any colleagues that may be interested in this publication, please forward it on. There is a link on the Alerts main page where they can subscribe to receive FORC Alerts automatically.

Regards,
C. Ignacio Matos, Esq., FORC Alert Co-Editor
Ryan Smart, Esq., FORC Alert Co-Editor
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Category(s): National - 07/25/2022

Healthcare Inequities Cost $320B Annually

A report from Deloitte that analyzed high-cost diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular disease suggests that racial, socioeconomic, and gender inequities in healthcare account for nearly $320B in yearly spending. Read the report here. 

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): National - 07/25/2022

IAIS Launches Public Consultation

The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) has launched a public consultation on the draft criteria that will be used to access the comparability outcomes of the Aggregation Method to the Insurance Capital Standard.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Alabama - 07/29/2022

Alabama Department of Insurance Commissioner Announces Retirement, Acting Commissioner Named

On Thursday, June 16, 2022, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced the retirement of Alabama Department of Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling. Commissioner Ridling served as the head of the Department of 14 years. This marks the longest tenure of an appointed insurance commissioner not only in Alabama but across the United States. Governor Ivey named Deputy Insurance Commissioner Mark Fowler as acting commissioner. Deputy Commissioner Fowler, a veteran of the Department, begin serving in this capacity on July 1, 2022.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): California - 07/25/2022

FAIR Plan Review

On June 10, 2022, Commissioner Lara issued a notice  of the intent of the California Department of Insurance (“CDI”) to hold an investigatory hearing on July 13, 2022 with respect to the operations, policies and procedures of the California FAIR Plan Association (“FAIR Plan”). The stated purpose of the investigation is to determine whether changes are needed to make it better meet the needs of California consumers. In person and virtual participation are available for interested parties, and written comments are welcome. The CDI indicated that it will approach stakeholders and invite their participation; and may issue subpoenas for documents and live testimony.
The FAIR Plan is a statutory “insurer of last resort” for property insurance (both residential and commercial) in California that takes the form of a joint reinsurance association of all insurers licensed to write property insurance in California. The FAIR Plan was created in 1968, and since that time, its mandate has been expanded. It was legislatively required to adopt a new plan of operations in 2021.

Nicole M. Zayac, Esq. - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, (415) 858-7443 , nzayac@willkie.com

Category(s): California - 07/25/2022

Incumbent Ricardo Lara Moves to Next Round of Insurance Commissioner Race

Incumbent California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara had a wide lead against his eight challengers in California’s primary, but the battle for the second spot to oppose him for the November election is contentious. The general election will take place on November 8, 2022.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): California - 07/25/2022

Sexually Transmitted Infection (“STI”) Coverage

On June 1, 2022, The CDI issued Bulletin 2022-3  “Coverage Limits on Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections” reminding insurers of their coverage obligations with respect to screening, diagnostic testing, and treatment of STIs. The Bulletin was issued in response to complaints alleging that insurers are putting inappropriate annual limits on STI screening. Insurers are instructed to review the Bulletin and ensure their practices are in compliance.

Nicole M. Zayac, Esq. - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, (415) 858-7443 , nzayac@willkie.com

Category(s): Colorado - 07/25/2022

Colorado Governor signs HB 22-1111 Into Law

On December 30, 2021, the Marshall Fire tore through suburban communities in Boulder County, destroying over 1,000 primary residences. In response to the growing threat of wildfires for residents throughout Colorado, the General Assembly passed HB 22-1111  and Governor Jared Polis signed the bill into law in June. The bill establishes new coverage requirements for homeowners’ insurance policies issued or renewed in Colorado in the event of a total loss of an owner-occupied residence as a result of a declared wildfire disaster. The legislation also sets new requirements around an insurer’s handling of policy claims after such a loss occurs, including extending time for additional living expenses and to submit receipts and invoices, and requiring insurers to pay at least 65% of the limit of the contents coverage without a written inventory.

Daniel Furman, Esq. - HALL & EVANS, LLC, (303) 628-3483 , furmand@hallevans.com

Category(s): Florida - 07/25/2022

CFO Patronis Appointed Charles H. Lydecker to the Citizens Property Insurance Board of Governors

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the appointment of Charles “Charlie” H. Lydecker, of Daytona Beach, to the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Board of Governors. Mr. Lydecker’s appointment is effective August 1, 2022 and expires July 31, 2025. CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Charlie Lydecker is a consummate insurance professional with more than three decades of experience, including property and casualty. As a business owner himself, I know he will bring the utmost professionalism and work ethic to the Citizens Board. We all know the unique challenges Florida’s hardening insurance market is facing, and I believe Charlie will help the board navigate those issues including fighting fraud and protecting policyholders.” Read the press release here. 

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Florida - 07/28/2022

CFO Patronis Issues Statement on Inflation

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued a statement after the U.S. Labor Department reported that inflation his 8.6% in May. The CFO highlights the Governor’s gas tax cut as a way to fight inflation. Read the press release here. 

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Florida - 07/25/2022

FLOIR Issues Memorandum Regarding Implementation of Items Relating to RAP Program

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) issued an informational memorandum regarding the implementation of CS/SB 2D Property Insurance by Sen. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) which was passed during the recent Special Session D. The bill was signed by the Governor on May 26. The memorandum formally notifies all personal and commercial residential property insurers authorized to do business in Florida of the passage of the legislation and provides guidance to help facilitate the expedited review of rate filings related to the newly formed RAP program.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Florida - 07/25/2022

Florida Legislature Passed Building Safety

The Legislature passed SB 4D on Building Safety by Sen. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) during Special Session. The current Florida Building Code requires that not more than 25 percent of the total roof area or roof section of any existing building or structure shall be repaired, replaced or recovered in any 12-month period unless the entire existing roofing system or roof section is replaced to conform to requirements of the Florida Building Code. The bill requires that the Florida Building Code stipulate that when 25 percent or more of a roofing system or roof section is being repaired, replaced, or recovered, only the portion of the roofing system or roof section undergoing such work must be constructed in accordance with the current Florida Building Code in effect at that time. The bill was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis on May 26, 2022.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Florida - 07/25/2022

Florida Legislature Passed Property Insurance Reform

The Legislature passed CS/SB 2D relating to Property Insurance by Sen. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) during Special Session. The goal of the legislation is to stabilize the failing property and casualty insurance market. The bill outlines measures including adopting the federal standards for contingency risk multipliers and allowing insurers to offer a separate roof deductible. The bill was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis on May 26, 2022.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Florida - 07/25/2022

SB 2D Faces Constitutional Challenge

The Restoration Association of Florida and Air Quality Assessors, LLC, an Orlando firm that performs mold testing and leak detection, filed a constitutional challenge on May 31 in Leon County circuit court that targets a new restriction on attorney fees in lawsuits filed by contractors against insurance companies.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Florida - 07/25/2022

SB 4D Faces Constitutional Challenge

The Restoration Association of Florida and Florida Premier Roofing LLC challenged the constitutionality of SB 4D on June 2. The lawsuit, filed in Leon County circuit court, came after a separate challenge was filed May 31 against SB 2D. The lawsuit challenges the roofing change but also contends that the overall bill is unconstitutional because it ties together “voluminous distinct subjects.” The plaintiffs contend it violates a constitutional requirement that laws deal with single subjects.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Florida - 07/25/2022

SBA Updated RAP Program Page

The link to the Reinsurance to Assist Policyholders (RAP) program web page has been updated to include a list of RAP insurers, a new individual company example of coverage, and revised RAP retention and payout multiples. The program page can be found here. 

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Georgia - 07/27/2022

DIRECTIVE 22-EX-4: Coverage For Diagnostic Examinations For Breast Cancer

On June 30, 2022, Commissioner John F. King issued Directive 22-EX-4 to advise insurance carriers of new requirements pursuant to HB 733 and the interpretation of such by the Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire (the “Department”). Effective May 6, 2022, HB 733 amended O.C.G.A §33-24-59.31 with new requirements on health benefit policies issued, delivered, issued for delivery or renewed on or after January 1, 2023.
The relevant portion of HB 733 states “A health benefit policy that provides coverage for diagnostic examinations for breast cancer shall include provisions that ensure that the cost-sharing requirements applicable to diagnostic and supplemental breast screening examinations are no less favorable than the cost-sharing requirements applicable to screening mammography for breast cancer.”
In order to determine if the cost-sharing requirement is met, the Department will look to the actual dollar value the insured is expected to pay (the out-of-pocket costs to the consumer) rather than the percentage of the cost of the procedure to the insured. For example, if a policy provided $50 out-of-pocket costs for a screening mammography, the Department expects the same or less out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic and supplemental breast screening examinations.

Tony Roehl, Esq. - MORRIS, MANNING & MARTIN, LLP, (404) 495-8477 , troehl@mmmlaw.com

Category(s): Georgia - 07/28/2022

DIRECTIVE 22-EX-5: Self-Funded Healthcare Plans Electing to Participate in the Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act

On July 1, 2022, Commissioner John F. King issued Directive 22-EX-5 to inform self-funded healthcare plans of the procedures for participating in Georgia’s Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act (the Act. Self-funded healthcare plans who wish to opt-in to the Act must complete the form found here  and submit to the Georgia DOI’s Administrative Procedure Division at AdminProc@oci.ga.gov.

Tony Roehl, Esq. - MORRIS, MANNING & MARTIN, LLP, (404) 495-8477 , troehl@mmmlaw.com

Category(s): Georgia - 07/25/2022

Election for Georgia Insurance Commissioner November 2022

Come November, there will be an election for Insurance Commissioner in Georgia.  The incumbent is Commissioner John F. King (R), appointed by Governor Kemp, and the first statewide Hispanic official. He has a long, decorated background in the military and law enforcement J. King  and has held this office since 2019. The challenger is Janice Laws Robinson (D),  insurance agent since 2003 and owner of an insurance agency in Atlanta since 2014. She ran in 2018 against Jim Beck, who won the election but was thereafter convicted of fraud and money laundering; she received 46.99% of the vote. 

Julie M. Pomerantz, Esq. - MITCHELL, WILLIAMS, SELIG, GATES & WOODYARD, P.L.L.C, (512) 480-5100 , jpomerantz@mwlaw.com

Category(s): Georgia - 07/25/2022

Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner Indicted

On May 17, 2022, a federal grand jury indicted former Georgia insurance commissioner John Oxendine on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering to which he pleaded not guilty at his initial court appearance. The indictment alleges that he conspired to obtain kickbacks from unnecessary genetic and toxicology lab results. A Georgia-based physician plead guilty to related charges and was sentenced in June 2022 to three years in prison.

Brian T. Casey, Esq. - LOCKE LORD LLP, (404) 870-4638 , bcasey@lockelord.com

Category(s): New York - 07/25/2022

Announcement from the New York Department of Financial Services

“A fast-moving industry like virtual currency requires strong regulation. Regulation plays an important role in protecting consumers against market volatility and scams; maintaining the integrity of the market by guarding against sanctions evasion  and illicit activity;  and ensuring corporate infrastructure and consumer data are both well-protected from cybercriminals. These are the critical risks that we at DFS are committed to mitigating as the preeminent regulator of virtual currency. I discussed these important topics and more at a number of public and industry events this week, including the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything,  Chainalysis Links,  and Operation Hope’s Cryptocurrency + Digital Assets Summit.  As the industry continues to evolve, DFS will continue to improve upon our regulation and supervision; engage with key stakeholders on important trends and issues; collaborate with state, federal and international regulators; and strive to be a forward-looking, innovative regulator, including through our VOLT initiative.  Through all of these efforts, DFS is keeping New York at the center of technological innovation and forward-looking regulation so that New Yorkers have a well-regulated way to access the virtual currency marketplace.”

Frederick J. Pomerantz, Esq. - INSURANCE LEGAL & REGULATORY CONSULTING, PLLC, (516) 297-3101 , PomerantzF35@gmail.com

Recent Editions

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Alerts for July 2022

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Alerts for May 2022

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Alerts for March 2022

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Alerts for January 2022

Posted on 1/30/2022