P Passed

P HB1648

Insurance agents; continuing education requirements. Authorizes the Insurance Continuing Education Board to exempt from continuing education requirements a resident agent who is over age 65 and has held a Virginia resident license continuously and without interruption for at least the four years immediately preceding, and has held equivalent license authority for at least 20 of the preceding 30 years and any unlicensed period was not the result of a license revocation or termination.
Patron - Armstrong

P HB1661

Insurance; discrimination against victims of domestic violence. Prohibits life and health insurers from discriminating against victims of domestic violence, which is defined as the occurrence of specified acts by a current or former family member, household member, person against whom the victim obtained a protective order or caretaker. The provision does not prohibit an insurer or insurance professional from asking about a medical condition even if the medical information is related to a medical condition that such person knows resulted from domestic violence to the extent otherwise permitted.
Patron - Watts

P HB1800

Health insurance; additional care by obstetrician-gynecologists. Eliminates a health insurer's authority to require that a patient have an office visit to the primary care physician before the patient may be referred to a specialist by her obstetrician-gynecologist. Prior consultation and authorization by the primary care physician may still be required, and the bill provides that such consultation may be made electronically.
Patron - Hamilton

P HB1892

Health care provider panels. Requires provider panel contracts to permit providers to refuse participation in the panel of an unaffiliated carrier if the unaffiliated carrier may impose participation terms that differ materially in reimbursement rates or managed care procedures, such as conducting economic profiling or requiring primary care physician referral to a specialist, from those of the original contract. This measure applies only to provider panels utilized by health maintenance organizations and preferred provider organizations.
Patron - Griffith

P HB1922

Health insurance; health services plans, marriage and family therapists. Requires health insurers and health service plan providers, whose policies or contracts cover services that may be provided by marriage and family therapists, to provide equal coverage for such services when provided by marriage and family therapists. This mandate was recommended by the Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Benefits.
Patron - Shuler

P HB1939

Uninsured motorist insurance coverage; subrogation claims. Provides that no action, verdict or release arising out of a suit brought by an insurer subrogated to the insured against an uninsured motorist shall give rise to any defenses in any other action brought in the subrogated party's name, including res judicata and collateral estoppel.
Patron - Kilgore

P HB2042

Health insurance; assessment for utilization review. Clarifies that only companies subject to the statutory external appeal program for adverse health decisions are subject to an assessment to fund appeals.
Patron - Rust

P HB2063

Health insurance; breast cancer as a preexisting condition. Prohibits (i) insurers proposing to issue group accident and sickness insurance policies or individual health insurance coverage providing hospital, medical and surgical, major medical or cancer-only coverage on an expense-incurred basis, and Medicare or similar plans; (ii) corporations providing individual or group accident and sickness subscription contracts; and (iii) health maintenance organizations providing a health care plan for health care services from denying the issuance or renewal of, or cancelling, a policy, contract or plan, or including an exception or exclusion of benefits, for persons who have a high risk of breast cancer or who have had breast cancer but have been free of the disease for at least five years. Benefits shall be provided with durational limits, deductibles, coinsurance factors, and copayments that are no less favorable than for physical illness generally. Such carriers shall not consider routine follow-up care after a person has been determined cancer-free for purposes of determining a preexisting condition unless laboratory evidence of breast cancer is found during or as a result of the follow-up care.
Patron - McQuigg

P HB2075

Fire Programs Fund. Allows localities to use funds from the Fire Programs Fund for purchasing emergency medical care and equipment for fire personnel and for payment of personnel costs related to fire and medical training for fire personnel.
Patron - Landes

P HB2078

Managed care health insurance plans; external appeals fee. Authorizes the State Corporation Commission's Bureau of Insurance to refund the $50 filing fee paid by covered persons or health care providers who have appealed a managed care health insurance plan's final adverse decision, if the appeal is not accepted for review.
Patron - Melvin

P HB2157

Insurance transactions; privacy; consumer protection. Establishes standards for consumer privacy protection that states are allowed to implement under the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act relating to sales of insurance by depository institutions. These provisions are made applicable to any person who lends money or extends credit and who solicits insurance in connection with the transaction. The measure also amends existing privacy protection provisions to provide consumers with additional notices required by the Act. Insurers or agents are required to give a financial information practices notice not less than once in any consecutive 12-month period, which notice will explain the individual's right to "opt out" of having his financial information disclosed to a nonaffiliated third party. The notice also describes the types of financial information that may be disclosed to affiliates and nonaffiliated third parties and the categories of persons to whom financial information may be disclosed. Medical record information and privileged claim information may not be disclosed to affiliates or nonaffiliated third parties unless prior written authorization is obtained. An information practices notice that describes the types of personal information (including medical record information) that may be collected and disclosed will still have to be given every two years as required under current law.
Patron - Morgan

P HB2228

Long-term care insurance; rating practices disclosure. Requires the State Corporation Commission's standards for provisions of long-term care insurance policies to address the disclosure of rating practices to consumers. The Joint Commission on Health Care and the Bureau of Insurance are required to (i) monitor the implementation of the revisions to the NAIC's Long-Term Care Insurance Model Regulation dealing with Initial Filing Requirements and Premium Rate Schedule Increases, (ii) document the experience of other states that have implemented the revised regulation, and (iii) recommend whether Virginia should adopt the revised regulation.
Patron - Hall

P HB2255

Mutual insurers; formation of mutual holding companies. Establishes a procedure for the formation of mutual insurance holding companies. The measure also provides for the conversion of mutual insurance holding companies to stock holding companies. Plans must be approved by the State Corporation Commission and receive the approval of two-thirds of the votes cast by eligible members at a meeting in person or by proxy.
Patron - Woodrum

P HB2654

Health insurance; prescription benefit cards. Requires each health insurer, corporation providing individual or group accident and sickness subscription contracts, and health maintenance organization that provides coverage for prescription drugs on an outpatient basis to issue a prescription benefit card, health insurance benefit card, or other technology that complies with standards set forth in the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs Pharmacy ID Card Implementation Guide. Alternatively, such card or other technology shall include specific data elements. The same requirement is imposed under the state employee's health insurance plan and the Virginia Medicaid program. The measure applies to contracts, policies or plans delivered, issued for delivery or renewed on and after July 1, 2002.
Patron - Reid

P HB2657

Insurance; unfair claim settlement practices in appraisals. Provides that it is an unfair claim settlement practice for a repair facility to engage in a general business practice of paying kickbacks, rebates, commissions or other consideration to an insurer in connection with appraisal services. The bill also provides that it is an unfair claim settlement practice to make appraisals of the cost of repairing an automobile that has been damaged as a result of a collision, unless the appraisal is based upon a personal inspection by a representative of the repair facility or insurer.
Patron - Cranwell

P HB2678

Uniform referral form. Repeals the requirement that the State Corporation Commission adopt a uniform referral form for managed care health insurance plans.
Patron - Rust

P HB2704

Insurance payments for services by pharmacists. Prohibits health insurers and health service plan providers, whose policies or contracts cover services that may be legally performed by licensed pharmacists, from denying reimbursement because the service is rendered by the licensed pharmacist if the service is performed under the terms of a collaborative agreement between a pharmacist and physician or the service is for a vaccination.
Patron - Watts

P HB2720

Annuities. Amends the definition of what constitutes an annuity. Rather than applying only to agreements to make periodic payments in fixed dollar amounts, the term "annuities" includes agreements to make payments in specified or calculable sums.
Patron - Bryant

P HB2721

Insurance; hedging transactions. Authorizes domestic insurers to effect bona fide hedging transactions pertaining to certain foreign securities. Currently, hedging transactions may pertain to other categories of domestic and Canadian obligations. The measure also expands the definition of a bona fide hedging transaction to include the purchase or sale of a contract, warrant, option, call, put or right that seeks to (i) minimize foreign currency risks or (ii) offset currency risks and other items that qualify for hedge accounting.
Patron - Bryant

P HB2801

Insurance; optional uninsured motorist coverage. Permits insurers to require that a policyholder's request to reduce uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage be in writing.
Patron - Ware

P SB913

Insurance agents; licensing. Incorporates the reciprocal agent licensing provisions of the NAIC Producer Licensing Model legislation that are necessary to comply with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). The measure also updates current laws, makes them more consistent with the laws of other states, and clarifies internal inconsistencies. Specific changes include (i) consolidating six current restricted licenses into one limited life and health license; (ii) consolidating five current restricted licenses into one limited property and casualty license; (iii) consolidating five types of credit insurance licenses into one new license; (iv) creating new specific nonresident license types to allow for full reciprocal licensing with other states; (v) creating a new "personal lines" license aimed primarily at those entering the insurance business and customer service representatives at insurance companies and insurance agencies who, while involved in sales, deal only with personal lines; (vi) creating a new "life and annuities" license and a new "health" license; (vii) liberalizing reciprocity for licensing nonresident agents based upon their qualifications in their home state; (viii) making the grounds upon which a license may be denied, suspended or revoked more consistent with the grounds utilized in other states; and (ix) making continuing education requirements fully reciprocal for agents and consultants who provide satisfactory certification that they have satisfied the level of continuing education required in their home state. Among other changes not mandated by GLBA, the measure repeals the 45-hour prelicensing study course requirement and changes the current appointment fee to an appointment processing fee applicable to each transaction, regardless of whether the appointment is successfully processed. The statutory maximum for the appointment fee is raised from $15 to $25. While most of the measure will become effective on September 1, 2002, some continuing education provisions will become effective January 1, 2003, and others will be effective July 1, 2001. This bill incorporates SB 1035.
Patron - Wampler

P SB987

Insurance. Defines insurance, for purposes of Title 38.2, as the business of transferring risk by contract wherein a person, for a consideration, undertakes to indemnify another person, to pay or provide a specified or ascertainable amount of money, or to provide a benefit or service upon the occurrence of a determinable risk contingency. Insurance specifically includes the issuance of group and individual contracts, certificates, or evidences of coverage by health services plans, health maintenance organizations, legal services organizations or legal services plans, and dental or optometric services plans.
Patron - Miller, Y.B.

P SB1088

Insurance agents; continuing education. Directs the continuing education board for insurance agents to approve instruction programs that include technical courses or agency management and operations courses.
Patron - Bolling

P SB1102

Insurance; confidentiality of information. Conforms provisions regarding the confidential treatment of information regarding insurance companies held by the State Corporation Commission. The circumstances when such information may be disclosed by the Commission are standardized. Disclosures may generally be made to (i) a regulatory official of any state or country; (ii) the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, its affiliate, or its subsidiary; or (iii) a law enforcement authority of any state or country. Disclosures by the Commission shall not constitute a waiver of confidentiality of information. The measure also provides that information denominated in writing as confidential by a federal regulator and received by the Commission pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act shall be excluded from subpoena or public inspection. The Commission may provide a federal regulator with information with respect to any insurance business that is an affiliate or agent of a depository institution or financial holding company if the federal regulator agrees in writing to maintain such information in confidence and to take all reasonable steps to oppose any effort to secure its disclosure.
Patron - Colgan

P SB1200

Health care coverage; infant hearing screenings. Requires health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and corporations providing subscription contracts for health care coverage to provide coverage for infant hearing screenings and certain other audiological examinations. These requirements are also made applicable to the state's health care coverage plan for state employees, and to the state plan for medical assistance (Medicaid).
Patron - Forbes

P SB1224

Fire Programs Fund. Provides that any funds remaining at the end of an annual reporting period due to a receiving locality's failure to submit required documentation be allocated to localities for the improvement of fire services. Currently, such funds must be retained until the documents are submitted by the receiving locality.
Patron - Whipple

F Failed

F HB1637

Accident and sickness insurance; coverage for EEG biofeedback. Requires health insurers, health care subscription plans and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for training and education in the use of EEG biofeedback equipment and techniques. EEG biofeedback is defined as electroencephalogram biofeedback or neurofeedback prescribed as a treatment for attention deficit disorder or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. The bill's provisions are applicable to policies and plans issued on and after July 1, 2001.
Patron - Diamonstein

F HB1671

Discriminatory insurance contracting; private cause of action. Authorizes a person aggrieved by unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and equal life expectation, or of essentially the same hazard, in rates charged, benefits payable, or other terms and conditions of any life insurance or annuity contract or contract or policy of accident or health insurance to bring an action to recover actual damages, costs and attorneys' fees against the person committing or permitting the unfair discrimination. Such discrimination is currently a prohibited insurance practice.
Patron - Jones, J.C.

F HB1938

Motor vehicle insurance; proof of insurance. Requires insurance companies issuing liability policies to provide insureds with proof of liability insurance and requires operators of vehicles registered as insured vehicles to carry proof of insurance when driving on the public highways. Failure, refusal, or inability to produce such proof of insurance when requested by a law-enforcement officer constitutes a traffic infraction (fine up to $200). The bill also makes it a class 6 felony to alter or falsify such proof of insurance, or to carry such proof knowing the applicable insurance policy to be expired or cancelled.
Patron - Armstrong

F HB2266

Insurance unfair trade practices; illegal rebates. Creates a new category of practices considered illegal rebates. The bill prohibits the giving or offering to give, as an inducement to purchase or renew insurance, any special favor related to the line of credit or loan portfolio of an applicant for insurance or an insured policyholder. This bill is identical to HB 2434.
Patron - Ware

F HB2434

Insurance unfair trade practices; illegal rebates. Creates a new category of practices considered illegal rebates. The bill prohibits the giving or offering to give, as an inducement to purchase or renew insurance, any special favor related to the line of credit or loan portfolio of an applicant for insurance or an insured policyholder. This bill is identical to HB 2266.
Patron - Bolvin

F HB2604

Insurance agents; continuing education. Eliminates the limitation that no more than 75 percent of an agent's required continuing education credit hours be from courses provided by insurance companies or agencies and allows excess credit hours to be carried forward to the next two biennia. Currently, excess credit hours may be carried forward only to the next biennium.
Patron - Cranwell

F HB2625

Insurance policies; creditors claims. Exempts the cash surrender or loan value of any life insurance policy from the claims of creditors without regard to whether the owner of the policy has the right to change the beneficiary. It repeals an existing provision that protects the cash surrender or loan value of a policy from creditors' claims only if the insured cannot change the beneficiary.
Patron - Bryant

F HB2768

Managed care health insurance plans; freedom of choice. Requires any operator of a managed care health insurance plan (MCHIP), whether a carrier offering preferred provider contracts, a corporation offering subscription contracts, or a health maintenance organization, to allow covered persons to choose their health care services provider. This right of choice extends to any provider that is not a member of the MCHIP's provider panel if the provider has previously notified the carrier of its agreement to accept, as payment in full, the reimbursement for health care services at the rates applicable to providers that are members of the MCHIP's provider panel. In addition, if the carrier requests in writing, an outside provider must execute the form of contract or agreement that the carrier requires all of the members of its provider panel to execute. Such agreement or contract must be signed by the outside provider within 30 days of the provider's receipt of the carrier's request. The bill prohibits reduced or disparate coverage and the imposition of monetary penalties if individuals receive their health care services from an outside provider. The bill also bars carriers from (i) denying immediate access to electronic claims filing to an outside provider that has executed the carrier's provider panel contract or agreement and (ii) requiring a covered person to make payment at point of service unless members of the MCHIP's provider panel are subject to the same requirement. A similar freedom to choose provision is added to the state employee's health insurance plan. The existing provision requiring HMO plans to offer optional point of service coverage is repealed.
Patron - Cranwell

F SB816

Health insurance; nonparticipating ancillary services providers. Prohibits an accident and sickness insurer, health maintenance organization, or health services plan from denying coverage or refusing to pay in full for an ancillary service provided by a nonparticipating provider, unless the health care plan obtains from the covered person a written acknowledgement that (i) services by a nonparticipating ancillary service provider may not be fully covered and (ii) the covered person is responsible for the difference between the amount that is billed and the amount that the insurer or plan pays or reimburses for the service. This measure applies where an insurer or plan has pre-approved a medical service provided at a participating hospital or outpatient treatment facility, but an ancillary service is provided by a nonparticipating provider.
Patron - Byrne

F SB938

Insurance; licensing of public adjusters. Provides for State Corporation Commission licensing of public adjusters. "Public adjusting" means investigating, negotiating or providing advice to an insured in relation to first-party claims arising under insurance contracts that insure the real or personal property of an insured. No person shall act as a public adjuster without first obtaining a license from the Commission. Conditions for licensing include paying an annual fee, passing a prelicensing examination, having at least two years' experience adjusting claims of the type for which a license is applied for, and posting a $10,000 bond. Adjusters for, or agents or employees of, insurers who adjust losses or damages under policies issued by the insurer, independent contractors of insurers, and licensed attorneys are exempt from the licensing requirements. The Commission may suspend or revoke licenses under certain conditions. The measure will become effective September 1, 2002.
Patron - Byrne

F SB1035

Insurance; types of agent licenses. Requires the licenses of all individuals and business entities who on July 1, 2001, hold certain limited licenses to write insurance to be converted to the nearest equivalent license type currently issued in the Commonwealth, and subjects those converted licenses to all of the prelicensing and continuing education requirements of the converted license type. This bill has been incorporated into SB 913.
Patron - Norment

F SB1191

Health care coverage; hearing aids. Requires health insurers, health maintenance organizations and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts to provide coverage for hearing aids and related services. Such coverage shall include one hearing aid per hearing-impaired ear, up to a cost of $1,200, every 48 months. The insured may choose a higher priced hearing aid and pay the difference in cost above $1,200, with no penalty to the insured or the hearing aid provider.
Patron - Houck


© 2001 by the Division of Legislative Services.