For Consumers

2018 legislative priorities

Legislative news

Market stability (HB 2355 and SB 6062 "Addressing the establishment of an individual health insurance market claims-based reinsurance program")

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) is exploring potential options for 2018 legislation intended to bend the curve downward on premiums, and increase consumer choices in the 2019 individual market. These options include applying for a 1332 state innovation waiver, implementing a reinsurance program and other options for coverage in bare counties.

The prime sponsor of HB 2355 is Rep. Cody. The prime sponsor of SB 6062 is Sen. Cleveland.

Balance billing (ESHB 2114 "Protecting consumers from surprise billing for out-of-network health services")

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner will run ESHB 2114 in the 2018 legislative session, which will establish the Balance Billing Protection Act. This act protects consumers from being billed for services they received in emergency services or in-patient surgeries, from an out-of-network provider, when the patient had no control over who provided their medical services. 

The prime sponsor of ESHB 2114 is Rep. Cody. This bill is a carryover from the 2017 legislative session. 

Supplemental budget request (HB 2299 and SB 6032 "Making supplemental operating appropriations")

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner will seek approximately $400,000 in the 2018 supplemental budget to restore funds the agency is spending for consultant services to assist with the development of the market stabilization proposal, which includes applying for a 1332 state innovation waiver, for the 2018 session.

The funds would come from the OIC's regulatory account.

The prime sponsor of HB 2299 is Rep. Ormsby. The prime sponsor of SB 6032 is Sen. Rolfes.

Disaster resiliency program study (HB 2320 and SB 6036 "Concerning the creation of a work group to study and make recommendations on natural disaster risk mitigation and resiliency activities")

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner will run legislation that requests the legislature to conduct a study with the OIC. The study would focus on whether Washington state should establish a disaster resiliency program to evaluate whether such a program would be helpful in educating and preparing the public about lessening the impacts of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, wildfires and landslides, and if there is a need for insurance for such disasters to be offered by the program, as California does with their earthquake authority.

The prime sponsor of HB 2320 is Rep. Reeves. The prime sponsor of SB 6036 is Sen. Mullet.

Risk mitigation (HB 2322 and SB 6035 "Allowing property insurers to assist their insureds with risk mitigation goods or services")

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner will run legislation to clearly define what property and casualty issuers can to do potentially lower claims, such as foundation strapping or brush clearing, without violating Washington state's inducement laws.

The prime sponsor of HB 2322 is Rep. Stanford. The prime sponsor of SB 6035 is Sen. Mullet.

Amendments to the NAIC Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Act (HB 2321 and SB 6059 "Addressing the insurer corporate governance annual disclosure model act")

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure model act is being proposed for amendment to update the financial reporting requirements for insurers. 

The NAIC Financial Regulation Standards and Accreditation Committee is expected to vote this Dec. 2017, to make this an accreditation requirement with a state required adopted date of Jan. 1, 2020.

The prime sponsor of HB 2321 is Rep. Bergquist. The prime sponsor of SB 6059 is Sen. Angel.

Amendments to the NAIC Holding Company Model Act

On Dec. 2, 2017, at the fall national meeting the NAIC decided to review the language for this proposed model act in the coming months. As a result, its adoption as an accreditation requirement from the NAIC has been delayed. OIC will resume passage of this model when NAIC concludes its review.