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Governor Gavin Newsom Signs AB 5

SIGNED BY GOVERNOR -- SB 1248– California Partnership for Long-Term Care Program– SUPPORT  

SB 1248 would revise the minimum benefit levels for long-term care (LTC) insurance policies certified by the California Partnership for Long-term Care Program (“Partnership”). The Partnership seeks to increase LTC insurance coverage among modest and middle-income individuals, however, current program standards drive up costs making the policies unaffordable.

NAIFA-California is proud to have supported SB 1248 by Senators Ted Gaines and Steve Glazer.  The bill is important to the long-term care marketplace by seeking to provide greater access to long-term care insurance policies certified by the California Partnership for Long-term Care Program. 

SIGNED BY GOVERNOR -- SB 1121– Privacy Clean-up Bill – SUPPORT 

In 2018, the Legislature enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA.  This law focuses on consumers’ rights and control over their personal information as well as transparency requirements related to a companies’ data practices.  The measure has broad implications for organizations providing services to or collecting data from, consumers.

In working with NAIFA‐California and the other insurance trade groups, the Legislature recognized that insurance agents and brokers are currently subject to a number of state and federal privacy laws.  As a result, SB 1121 (Dodd) was passed and signed into law to clarify an exemption from the CCPA of information that is collected, processed, sold, and disclosed pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).  This clarification will eliminate confusion for the insurance industry in our effort to comply with privacy rules and allows us to largely follow the existing standards.

As licensed insurance and financial professionals you constantly handle customers’ personal and sensitive information.  In an effort to help agents and brokers comply with GLBA and California Insurance Code 791-791.27, below is a list of requirements that agents and brokers must be aware of:

  • Annual delivery of privacy statements to consumers who agents and brokers have an on-going relationship.  The statement must explain privacy practices and give the consumer the right to opt-out of having their information shared with certain third parties.
  • Properly securing information and restricting access to third parties, which, among other things, includes limiting access to customer information databases and permitting access to only authorized individuals.

SIGNED BY GOVERNOR – Wildfire Bills – NEUTRAL

In the aftermath of the 2017 wildfires, the issue of underinsured properties returned to the forefront.  These devastating firestorms were among the worst in our state’s history and sadly several Californians lost their homes.  Many fire victims also found themselves underinsured for a variety of reasons including marketplace pressures resulting in policyholders not purchasing the appropriate coverage limits.  In response, the Governor signed a couple measures aimed at providing additional consumer protections for homeowner insurance this year. 

AB 1797 by Assemblymember Marc Levine requires insurers to provide an estimate of replacement value for the insured property for new business and offer to provide a new estimate with every other renewal.  Another wildfire insurance bill, AB 1875, by Assemblymember Jim Wood aims to connect consumers who need residential property insurance with agents and brokers to help ensure they obtain plans and coverage that suit their specific needs.  More specifically, this bill requires an insurance agent or broker who does not provide at least 50 percent extended replacement cost coverage to help direct the consumer to an insurer that might.

Given these new laws, it is vital that NAIFA-California members do our part in helping educate consumers on insurance-to-value and encourage them to better understand their policies.  Additionally, NAIFA‐California strongly encourages you to reach out to all of your policyholders annually upon renewal to revisit the policyholder’s coverage needs and to make sure that any and all changes made to the property have been disclosed and accounted for in the coverage limits.

SIGNED BY GOVERNOR -- AB 2499– Health care coverage: medical loss ratios – REMOVED OPPOSITION

AB 2499 would have increased the minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) percentages for the small group and individual market from 80% to 85% and the large group market from 85% to 90%.  The administrative portion of the MLR includes commissions to agents and it could have been detrimental to agents selling health insurance in their communities.

We were strongly opposed to AB 2499 authored by Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, which could have negatively impacted licensed, certified health insurance agents who have helped millions of Californians find and keep affordable health care coverage, reducing the percentages of those who are uninsured to a record low of 6.3%.  If the administrative portion of the MLR was reduced as was proposed by AB 2499, the consumer would lose the vital benefit of a qualified health insurance agent who is able to assist in navigating complex healthcare management issues.

Thanks again in part to NAIFA-California’s lobbying efforts, AB 2499 was amended to simply codify the current federal law as it pertains to the medical loss ratio.  As a result, NAIFA-California was able to remove its opposition and is now neutral on the bill. 

DEFEATED -- AB 3087 – California Health Care Cost, Quality, and Equity Commission– OPPOSE

AB 3087 would have established an appointed commission to impose price controls on health care providers and insurers and determine the amount of an individual’s copays and deductibles.  The bill could have significantly jeopardized NAIFA-California’s members’ clients ability to access health care.   

NAIFA-California was opposed to AB 3087, authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra, because it would have capped payment rates on health care services and severely jeopardize people’s access to care. As a trade association representing insurance agents and advisors, we recognized the importance of health care insurance and affordability of that coverage.  However, we were concerned that this legislation would have destabilized the health insurance marketplace.

Thanks again in part to NAIFA-California’s lobbying efforts and the DOTH attendees, AB 3087 did not move forward in 2018.

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