P HB140

Insurance fraud; delegation of related duties to the Department of State Police. Eliminates the sunset provision on the act that created an Insurance Fraud Investigation Unit within the Department of State Police's Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Unit conducts independent inquiries and investigations into fraudulent acts involving property and casualty insurance transactions. The Unit's activities are funded by premium assessments on all property and casualty insurance companies writing policies in the Commonwealth.
Patron - Abbitt

P HB199

Change of insurance agent of record. Requires insurers to accept and honor a request by a policyholder to change the insurance agent of record to a new agent, who must be a duly appointed agent of the insurer. The change is effective on the date of the next renewal of the policy, unless the request is withdrawn. The new agent shall be paid all commissions payable on the policy, excluding commissions or other compensation payable under a retirement or deferred compensation plan with the insurance agent. This provision applies only to limited lines property and casualty agents, property and casualty insurance agents, personal lines agents, restricted nonresident property and casualty agents, and restricted nonresident personal lines agents. It does not apply to insurers that permit insureds to change the insurance agent of record under terms that are at least as favorable as provided by this measure, and equitably allocate commissions between the current and new insurance agents. The measure will be effective September 1, 2002.
Patron - Callahan

P HB414

Insurance; medical savings accounts. Revises the Virginia Medical Savings Account Program by deleting references to the Workers' Compensation Commission and the Department of Medical Assistance Services. The plan would now be developed and implemented by the Department of Taxation and the Bureau of Insurance. The Department of Taxation is to report to the Joint Commission on Health Care by November 1, 2002. This is a recommendation of the Joint Commission on Health Care.
Patron - Hamilton

P HB580

Motor vehicle insurance; notice of claim settlement. Requires motor vehicle insurers to advise the named insured on a policy, upon request, of any settlement of a claim made by a person other than the named insured that arose in connection with a motor vehicle accident involving a covered automobile.
Patron - Welch

P HB662

Health insurance; reconstructive breast surgery. Amends the statute mandating reconstructive breast surgery coincident with or after a mastectomy for breast cancer to render Virginia's law consistent with the federal Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998, which was incorporated into Title I of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 300gg, et seq.). An existing provision that limits the mandate to policies, contracts or plans delivered, issued for delivery or renewed on or after July 1, 1998, is removed, and the mandate will apply to surgeries performed on or after October 21, 1998, which is the effective date of the federal law. An enactment clause provides that the amendments do not adversely affect the rights of any covered person that existed under the mandate as it previously existed. The measure also (i) provides that reconstructive breast surgery includes coverage for prostheses and physical complications, (ii) requires written notice of the coverage be provided to the enrollee, and (iii) prohibits denial of eligibility for coverage solely for the purpose of avoiding the requirements of the mandate.
Patron - May

P HB704

Fire Services Grant Program; expenditure of funds. Provides that moneys allocated from the Fire Programs Fund to the Fire Services Grant Program and the Dry Hydrant Grant Program shall be used as grants to provide regional fire services training facilities, to finance the Virginia Fire Incident Reporting System and to build or repair burn buildings, and for no other purpose.
Patron - Armstrong

P HB1125

Long-term care insurance. Requires the State Corporation Commission to issue amended regulations that provide standards for initial filing requirements and premium rate schedule increases for long-term care insurance. Such standards shall be similar to standards set forth in model regulations developed by the National Association of Insurance Commission. The regulations shall be effective no later than April 1, 2003.
Patron - Bryant

P HB1195

Insurance agents; termination of license and contracts. Requires that any appeal by insurance agents whose licenses are terminated for failure to comply with continuing education requirements be filed within 60 days of notification of the termination. The measure also provides that an agent who has not complied with the continuing education requirements and who voluntarily surrendered his license prior to the expiration of the appeal period shall not be permitted to apply for another such license until he has complied with the continuing education requirements. Finally, the measure extends the confidential treatment required of documents acquired by the State Corporation Commission in connection with investigations of insurance agents.
Patron - Hargrove

P HB1294

Life insurance; accelerated payment of benefits. Allows insurers who issue life insurance policies to provide for the accelerated payment of benefits to the insured during the life of the insured (i) if the insured is unable to perform two major activities of daily living, or (ii) if the insured requires substantial supervision by another person to protect the health and safety of the insured or any other person. The measure does not apply to credit life insurance policies.
Patron - Rollison

P HB1307

Discrimination on the basis of genetic information. Prohibits employers from (i) requiring a genetic test as a condition of employment and (ii) refusing to hire, failing to promote, discharging or otherwise adversely affecting any term or condition of employment, other than a long-term care, life or disability insurance policy, an employee or prospective employee solely on the basis of the results of a genetic characteristic or genetic test. Violators are subject to actual or punitive damages, including back pay with interest, or injunctive relief. This bill is identical to SB 102.
Patron - Watts

P SB151

Uninsured motorist coverage; rates and refunds. Eliminates the requirement that the State Corporation Commission grant prior approval of uninsured motorist rates. Instead, insurers will be authorized to use the "file and use" procedure. The bill also changes the distribution of refunds from the Uninsured Motorists Fund, basing the distribution in the proportion that each reporting insurer's written car years bear to the total number of written car years by all participating insurers in Virginia. Currently, refunds are distributed in the proportion that each insurer's premium income bears to the total premium income for basic uninsured motorists coverage.
Patron - Norment

P SB154

Insurance rates; large commercial risks. Includes the premiums paid for professional liability and workers' compensation insurance in calculations of the amount a person or entity pays in annual aggregate nationwide insurance premiums. Payment of annual aggregate nationwide insurance premiums in excess of $100,000 is one criterion for determining whether a person or entity is a large commercial risk. Insurers are not required to file or obtain approval for insurance policies and rates used in the insurance of large commercial risks.
Patron - Norment

P SB182

Insurance; countersignature requirement prohibited. Prohibits the inclusion in an insurance policy of a provision that deems the policy to be invalid if it is not signed or countersigned by an insurance agent or company representative.
Patron - Colgan

P SB183

Health insurance; external review of adverse decisions. Authorizes a designee of the Commissioner of Insurance to act on his behalf in exercising certain powers pertaining to the Bureau of Insurance's conduct of independent external reviews of adverse utilization review decisions.
Patron - Colgan

P SB187

Credit life and credit accident and sickness insurance. Recognizes the 1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table as an acceptable basis for the establishment of reserves for credit life insurance policies. The actuarial method is established as the minimum standard for calculating the gross unearned premium reserve for credit accident and sickness insurance policies. Insurers are authorized to use a flexible valuation interest rate schedule. Refund formulas for credit accident and sickness insurance policies are required to be at least as favorable to the debtor as such refunds would be if based on the actuarial method. Other changes confirm that use of the Rule of 78 is not appropriate in determining reserves and refunds.
Patron - Stosch

P SB188

Insurance; investments. Increases the amount of assets a domestic insurer can invest in cash, cash equivalents, and certain short-term investments of one depository, obligor or issuer from five percent to 10 percent of its total admitted assets. The restriction that investments per obligor or per issuer do not exceed 20 percent of the insurer's surplus to policyholders is unchanged.
Patron - Stosch

P SB199

Insurance regulation. Simplifies and clarifies the responsibilities of burial societies regarding surety bonds, and authorizes the State Corporation Commission to require certification of compliance with these bonding requirements. Other housekeeping amendments (i) make the requirement that foreign or alien fraternal benefit societies file copies of amendments to charters and bylaws optional at the Commission's request; (ii) correct reference to the Investment Company Act of 1940; (iii) delete an obsolete reference to an earnings test; and (iv) simplify filing requirements by allowing attestations to be made by an executive officer rather than by the chief executive officer.
Patron - Miller, Y.B.

P SB240

Insurance transactions; privacy. Requires a depository institution selling insurance to provide purchasers with a statement that the insurance policy is not a deposit, is not FDIC insured, is not guaranteed by the bank, and involves investment risk, where appropriate. Currently, the requirement applies only where the insurance is sold in connection with the lending of money or extension of credit. The measure also clarifies that the simplified notice of the insurer's privacy policy must be sent both at issuance of the policy and annually thereafter. The provision regarding giving annual notices is amended to be consistent with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Finally, duplicative language is deleted.
Patron - Wampler

P SB289

Health maintenance organizations; reinsurance. Authorizes health maintenance organizations to engage in reinsurance transactions, provided that significant transactions are subject to approval by the State Corporation Commission.
Patron - Norment

P SB438

Insurance agents; business entities. Eliminates the requirement that the articles of incorporation or other organizational document of a business entity specify that the entity is authorized to act as an insurance agent. The measure also clarifies requirements for nonresident business entities to act as an agent in the Commonwealth.
Patron - Williams

P SB670

Workers' compensation insurance; review of rates. Authorizes the Attorney General to conduct investigations of possible violations of statutory requirements regarding the experience data of members of rate service organizations.
Patron - Wampler

P SB678

Motor vehicle insurance; installment payments. Requires every insurer issuing and renewing a policy of motor vehicle insurance that permits payments in installments to disclose in boldface type each installment amount and due date upon issuance or renewal. If the insurer changes the due dates, the insurer must issue a separate disclosure.
Patron - Watkins

P SB689

Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program; investment reports. Requires the board of directors of the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program to report annually on the investment of the assets of the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Fund to the Clerk of the House of Delegates and the Clerk of the Senate. Currently, such reports are made only to the Speaker of the House of Delegates and to the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee.
Patron - Trumbo


F HB84

Accident and sickness insurance; coverage for polypeptide-based or amino acid-based formulas. Requires health insurers, health care subscription plans and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for the expense of polypeptide-based or amino acid-based formulas whose protein source has been extensively or completely hydrolyzed. This benefit is to be available if the formula is required to treat either a diagnosed inborn error of amino acid or organic acid metabolism or a diagnosed disease or disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that leads to malnutrition or malabsorption due to inflammation, protein sensitivity, or inborn errors of digestion, and is the primary source of nutrition as certified by the treating physician by diagnosis.
Patron - Orrock

F HB139

Insurance fraud; delegation of related duties to the Department of State Police. Eliminates the sunset provision on the act that created an Insurance Fraud Investigation Unit within the Department of State Police's Bureau of Criminal Investigation to initiate independent inquiries and conduct independent investigations into fraudulent acts involving property and casualty insurance transactions. The act provides that such activity will be funded by premium assessments on all property and casualty insurance companies writing policies in the Commonwealth. The provisions of this bill became effective on January 1, 1999, and are scheduled to expire on January 1, 2003.
Patron - Abbitt

F HB383

Accident and sickness insurance; coverage for lymphedema. Requires health insurers, health care subscription plans and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for equipment, supplies, complex decongestive therapy, and outpatient self-management training and education for the treatment of lymphedema.
Patron - Wardrup

F HB422

Health insurance; reimbursement to dietitians and nutritionists. Prohibits health insurers and health service plan providers from denying reimbursement for covered services of a dietitian or nutritionist when the services are provided in connection with care for diabetes. Dietitians and nutritionists are authorized to provide in-person outpatient self-management training and education for diabetes.
Patron - McQuigg

F HB442

Motor vehicle insurance; information cards. Requires insurers issuing motor vehicle insurance policies to provide the named insured with an information card that includes information about the insurer, the insured, the period of coverage, and the policy number.
Patron - Hull

F HB476

Motor vehicle insurance; exclusion of named unlicensed persons. Allows a named insured to exclude from his motor vehicle insurance policy a person, who would otherwise be covered under the policy, if the excluded person is unlicensed or his driving privileges are cancelled, revoked or suspended throughout the term of the policy. The exclusion may be made only with the permission of the named insured and the person to be excluded.
Patron - Suit

F HB553

Health insurance; assignment of benefits; chiropractors and physical therapists. Prohibits any health insurance plan from refusing to accept or make reimbursements pursuant to an assignment of benefits made to a chiropractor or physical therapist by an insured, subscriber or plan enrollee. Such a prohibition currently exists for assignments of benefits made to a dentist or oral surgeon.
Patron - Sears

F HB624

Third party administrators; penalties. Regulates the business of administrators of certain insured or self-insured employee health benefits plans. Administrators are required to be licensed by the State Corporation Commission, post a surety bond, and pay an annual fee. Agreements between an administrator and the principal sponsoring the benefits plan must be in writing and set forth the underwriting standards under the plan. Premiums and contributions held by an administrator must be held in fiduciary accounts. Administrators are prohibited from engaging in certain practices, including misrepresenting facts relating to coverage, failing to act reasonably and promptly upon communications with respect to a claim for benefits, and failing to adopt reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of a claim for benefits. Administrators may not be compensated based on the plan's loss experience. Violators are subject to fines of up to $2,500. Acting as an administrator without obtaining a license is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Patron - Morgan

F HB960

Insurance; Fire Programs Fund. Increases from one to three percent, the amount of the annual assessment against all licensed insurance companies doing business in Virginia for the Fire Programs Fund. The bill provides that this increased assessment shall only be effective for five years. The bill also (i) provides that the Fund shall be used to provide staffing to meet national standards for homeland defense, (ii) increases from $10,000 to $30,000 the minimum amount an eligible city or county may receive from the Fund, (iii) increases from $4,000 to $12,000 the minimum amount an eligible town may receive from the Fund, and (iv) requires that certain moneys from the Fund be used for a state fire academy, replacement of unsafe fire trucks, and administrative support services for nonfunded training to localities, to include an emergency vehicle operator's course and the development of a mandatory firefighters training curriculum. The bill also contains a technical amendment.
Patron - Almand

F HB1010

Health insurance coverage; reconstructive breast surgery. Includes the deep inferior epigastric artery and vein, or DIEP, procedure in the definition of reconstructive breast surgery for purposes of mandated benefit coverage.
Patron - Van Yahres

F HB1126

Insurance policies; creditors claims. Exempts the cash surrender or loan value of any life insurance policy or annuity contract from the claims of creditors without regard to whether the owner of the policy has the right to change the beneficiary. The exemption from claims of creditors is inapplicable to any portion of the cash surrender or loan value in excess of $100,000 that accumulated during the 24 months preceding the person's insolvency or bankruptcy. A creditor named as a beneficiary of a policy or contract is entitled only to the cash or loan value to the extent that will satisfy the indebtedness. The measure also 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 HB1348

Accident and sickness insurance; coverage for alpha-1 antitripsin deficiency. Requires health insurers, health care subscription plans and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for the treatment of alpha-1 antitripsin deficiency. Alpha-1 antitripsin is a protein that protects the lungs.
Patron - Reid

F SB272

Insurance; use of credit history. Prohibits insurers and agents from setting rates or making policy issuance and renewal decisions for motor vehicle insurance, homeowners insurance, and renters insurance on the basis of a person's credit history, lack of credit history, or credit score.
Patron - Puckett

F SB302

Uninsured motorist insurance coverage. Requires insurers providing uninsured motorist coverage to offer increased uninsured motorist coverage, up to a maximum of twice the limits of the liability coverage in the policy.
Patron - Deeds

F SB335

Medical malpractice insurance; policy exclusions. Prohibits medical malpractice insurance policies from excluding or limiting coverage for liability arising from the rendering of professional services solely on the basis that such services are rendered at a correctional facility or to persons incarcerated in a correctional facility.
Patron - Wagner

F SB401

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. The mandate does not apply to individual or small group policies, and does not cover aids for impaired ears that do not indicate a hearing loss of 30 dB or greater for at least one frequency between 500 Hz and 4,000 Hz. Insurers are prohibited from charging a copayment or fee exceeding $100 per hearing aid.
Patron - Houck

F SB466

Health insurance; coverage for chiropractic care. Requires health insurers, health maintenance organizations and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts to provide coverage for chiropractic care. Chiropractic care is defined as the adjustment of the 24 movable vertebrae of the spinal column, and assisting nature for the purpose of normalizing the transmission of nerve energy, but does not include the use of surgery, obstetrics, osteopathy or the administration or prescribing of any drugs, medicines, serums or vaccines.
Patron - Puller

F SB487

Health maintenance organizations; powers. Permits a health maintenance organization to offer to its subscribers deductibles, copayments, and cost-sharing provisions provided they comply with applicable state law.
Patron - Newman

F SB619

Health insurance; exclusion for preventive treatments; genetic predisposition. Prohibits health insurers, corporations providing accident and sickness subscription contracts, and health maintenance organizations from excluding coverage for services to prevent, eliminate or reduce the likelihood of the development of an illness, disease or condition solely on grounds that signs or symptoms of the illness, disease or condition have not yet presented. The coverage shall be provided if the insured's treating physician has determined that the person has a genetic factor or family history indicating a predisposition to such illness, disease or condition and that the risks to the covered person resulting from such predisposition render such services medically appropriate.
Patron - Deeds

F SB690

Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association; payment of claims. Provides that the Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association shall pay to a claimant the full amount of a covered claim for benefits arising out of a policy providing coverage to the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Authority, the Eastern Virginia Medical School or the University of Virginia Medical Center. These medical schools are also excluded from the provision that makes entities with one-half million dollars in net worth ineligible to recover funds from the Association. The bill is effective retroactive to September 1, 2001, and has an emergency clause.
Patron - Wagner

Carried Over

C HB194

Heath insurance credit; retired teachers. Increases the health insurance credit for retired teachers from $2.50 to four dollars per month for teachers for each full year of creditable service, not to exceed a maximum monthly credit of $120 for teachers with 30 or more years of creditable service.
Patron - Morgan

C HB622

Insurance; fair carrier business practices. Requires carriers to pay, within 10 days of receipt, any "clean" claim pertaining to prescription drug benefits that is submitted electronically by a pharmacist and that includes all information and documentation that are customarily required by the carrier to process and pay claims of the type submitted. Currently, carriers are required to pay claims within 40 days of receipt of the claim. If such a claim is submitted electronically by a pharmacist, the carrier shall, within five days after receipt of such material, request any additional information and documentation that the carrier reasonably requires to process and pay the claim or to determine if the claim is a clean claim. Currently, a carrier's post-submission requests for such information and documentation must be made within 30 days after receipt of the claim.
Patron - Morgan

C HB623

Pharmacy provider panels. Prohibits health insurers and other carriers from requiring a pharmacist to participate in any other provider panel as a condition of the pharmacist's participation on a specific provider panel. Carriers are also prohibited from conditioning their consent to allowing a pharmacist to participate in a preferred provider organization or other preferred provider network arrangement upon the pharmacist's agreeing to enter into contracts or arrangements with the carrier that are not part of the preferred provider organization or network organization. A carrier also shall not contract with an unaffiliated carrier to include such pharmacist on the provider panel of the unaffiliated carrier.
Patron - Morgan

C HB902

Bureau of Insurance; Catastrophic Event Reinsurance Fund. Establishes the Catastrophic Event Reinsurance Fund to be administered by the Bureau of Insurance. The bill defines catastrophic event as either (i) a man-made disaster including any condition following an attack by any enemy or foreign nation upon the United States resulting in substantial damage of property or injury to persons in the United States and may be by use of bombs, missiles, shell fire, nuclear, radiological, chemical or biological means or other weapons or by overt paramilitary actions; terrorism, foreign and domestic, or (ii) a natural disaster including any hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, drought, fire or other natural catastrophe resulting in damage, hardship, suffering or possible loss of life. The Fund will include moneys received from premiums paid by subscribing insurance companies. The Bureau is directed to establish guidelines for administration of the Fund.
Patron - Purkey

C HB1131

Health maintenance organizations (HMO); powers. Permits a health maintenance organization to offer to its subscribers deductibles, copayments, and cost-sharing provisions provided they comply with applicable state law.
Patron - Bryant

C SB293

Health maintenance organizations; dental care; net worth. Revises the minimum net worth requirement for any health maintenance organization that provides only dental care services. Such HMOs shall be required to have a net worth at least equal to the greater of (i) the lesser of $4 million or two percent of their annual gross premium income or (ii) $600,000. Currently, all HMOs must have a minimum net worth equal to the sum of their uncovered expenses, but not less than $600,000, up to a maximum of $4 million.
Patron - Norment

C SB526

Title insurance; definitions and requirement of title search. Includes products known as "mortgage impairment" in the definition of "title insurance." The bill also requires the performance of a title search before any binder, commitment or preliminary report, or policy or contract of title insurance, is issued.
Patron - Mims


© 2002 by the Division of Legislative Services.