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News & Press: CalAdvisor Newsletter

Legislative Issues of Interest in 2016

Friday, August 5, 2016   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Shari McHugh
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NAIFA-California’s Sacramento team has continued to be very busy working on a number of issues that are very important to NAIFA-California members. Here is a quick overview of some of the issues:

California Secure Choice Savings Program – SB 1234 (De Leon)

The bill to give the California Secure Choice Board the power to implement the Secure Choice Program is pending in the Assembly and is expected to make it to the Governor’s desk. Senator Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) is moving SB 1234 to provide legislative approval for the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (SCRSP) and set forth recommendations and requirements for the design and implementation of the program. The program would provide state administered retirement savings for private sector employees who do not have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans.

As reported in the Spring, thanks to NAIFA-California’s lobbying efforts and diligent grassroots efforts of NAIFA-California’s members, Senator De Leon took an amendment to the bill to direct the Board to collaborate with, and evaluate the role of insurance agents and financial advisors in assisting and providing guidance for eligible employers and employees. This was a huge step towards ensuring that agents and advisors are taken into consideration by the Board and it gives NAIFA-California an opportunity to work with the Board to protect the role of the agent and advisor.

Long Term Care Bills of Interest

A number of bills have been introduced, and are moving through the process, in an attempt to address the highly challenged long term care marketplace. NAIFA-California is supporting AB 2366 by Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Encino) and sponsored by the Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies (ACLHIC), which is designed to help insurers with getting new and innovative long-term care products to the marketplace. The bill would exempt insurers that offer a policy that combines both life and long-term care (LTC) coverage from the requirement to offer the new policy to their existing long-term care policy holders. The bill is waiting to be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Two other bills that are being considered are SB 1091 and SB 1384 by Senator Carol Liu (D-Pasadena).

SB 1091 would establish basic statutory standards for "alternate plan of care" provisions including defining "alternate plan of care" as a provision that allows coverage for LTC services that are not specifically listed as a benefit in an LTC insurance policy, defining "plan of care" as a written description of an insured's LTC needs that includes the type and frequency of services required, providing that an alternate plan of care may be proposed by either the insurer or the insured and must be agreed to by the insurer, insured and a licensed health care practitioner and providing that an alternate plan of care shall not result in a change in the maximum benefit amount provided for by the policy. The bill is waiting to be heard on the Assembly floor.

The other long term care bill of interest is SB 1384, which establish a task force to advise the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) on the operation of the California Partnership for Long-Term Care (partnership) and revises the requirements for partnership policies.

NAIFA-California is hopeful that both bills will ultimately improve the marketplace and we are working with interested parties to help ensure that is the case. We are also anticipating additional work to be done in the coming months and years to further address the problems in the marketplace and NAIFA-California will continue to be part of the dialogue.

Other Bills of Interest

NAIFA-California is pleased to support, along with CAHU and IIABCal, SB 923 by Senator Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa). The bill would make it clear that in the individual (grandfathered and non-grandfathered) and non-grandfathered small group markets, a health care service plan contract or health insurance policy that is issued, amended or renewed on or after January 1, 2017 may not change any cost sharing requirements during the plan year or policy year. The bill is pending on the Senate floor.

NAIFA-California is pleased to support AB 1899 by Assemblyman Ian Calderon (D-Montebello), which would require the CDI to offer the licensing exam for life agent, life-only agent, and accident and health agent licenses be provided in English and Spanish. The bill is waiting to be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

NAIFA-California also supports AB 2456 by Assemblyman Calderon. The bill would require the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC), during the next revision of the history-social science framework, to consider including information on financial literacy. The bill is waiting to be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Lastly, NAIFA-California is monitoring SB 924 by Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside), which would add to the suitability information required for the sale of annuities whether the consumer intends to apply for means-tested government benefits, including, but not limited to, Medi-Cal or the veterans’ aid and attendance benefit. The bill has no opposition and is on the Assembly floor waiting for consideration.

Comments...

Richard Nilmeier Sr. CLU RHU says...
Posted Friday, August 5, 2016
collaborate with, and evaluate the role of insurance agents and financial advisors in assisting and providing guidance for eligible employers and employees. This language tells me that DeLeon's office is placating NAIFA California. They will simply go back and do what they have done with the UC and CSU systems: Single or maybe multiple options for vendors with no input from our members. Do we really have any assurances that they will actually involve agents, or simply evaluate the role of agents and financial advisors?

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