2013 Insurance Legislative Summaries

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2013 Legislative Summaries

Changes to the Insurance Law and Related Chapters

Note: Legislation is presented in numeric order based on 2013 Chapter Law

Accountable Care Organizations
Ch. 6 of the Laws of 2013
Ch.6 amended the Public Health Law to adjust the charge and membership of the Accountable Care Organization Workgroup.

Unclaimed Life Insurance Chapter Amendment
Ch. 10 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 10 amended the Insurance Law to clarify the statutory procedures for life insurers to perform regular cross-checks of life insurance policies and accounts issued by them, against the U.S. Social Security Administration’s Death Master File, and make good faith efforts to locate beneficiaries.

Firefighters and Emergency Services Workers SUM Chapter Amendment
Ch. 11 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 11 amended the Insurance Law to clarify when firefighters and emergency services workers are covered under a fire department or ambulance service’s supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist (“SUM”) coverage.

Excess Line Insurance Sunset Extender
Ch. 20 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 20 amended the Insurance Law to extend the statutory authority for the Excess Line Association of New York and to extend certain provisions pertaining to excess line insurance.

NYPIUA Broad Form Coverage
Part W of Ch. 55 of the Laws of 2013
Part W of Chapter 55 amended the Insurance Law to permit the New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association (“NYPIUA”) to continue offering broad form coverage until June 30, 2018.

Health Insurance
Part D of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2013
Part D of Chapter 56 amended multiple laws, including the Insurance Law with regard to applied behavioral analysis coverage, student health insurance, the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Healthy New York program.

Free Trade Zone Sunset Extender
Ch. 75 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 75 amended the Insurance Law to extend until June 30, 2015, the exemption from rate and form filing requirements for certain property/casualty policies written in the free trade zone and to remove the requirement that an insurer must file with the Superintendent of Financial Services (“Superintendent”) a certificate of insurance evidencing the existence and terms of the policy within one business day of binding the insurance coverage.

Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Sunset Extender
Ch. 80 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 80 amended section 2 of Chapter 673 of the Laws of 2005, as amended by Chapter 132 of the Laws of 2008, to extend until July 1, 2018 the provision set forth in the Insurance Law that eliminates the requirement that the Medical Malpractice Insurance Pool make available to health care providers a second layer of excess medical malpractice insurance.

Freelancers Health Plan Demonstration Program
Ch. 203 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 203 amended the Insurance Law to create the Freelancers Health Plan Demonstration Program, a self-funded health plan for independent workers.

Enhancing Regulatory Efficiency and Efficacy
Ch. 238 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 238 amended the Insurance Law with regard to supervisory colleges and holding companies; to increase the requisite reserve threshold above which a charitable organization must obtain a permit to issue charitable gift annuity contracts; to permit the Superintendent to accept an electronic filing of a foreign insurer’s annual statement; to increase the threshold at which the Superintendent, as receiver, may dispose of property or debts without court approval; and to create a threshold below which the Superintendent may allow property/casualty security fund claims payments without court approval.

Demutualization of Domestic Accident and Health Insurers
Ch. 286 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 286 amended the Insurance Law to permit a domestic mutual accident and health insurer to apply to the Superintendent for permission to reorganize and convert into a domestic stock accident and health insurer.

Hannah’s Law
Ch. 388 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 388 amended the Insurance Law to specify that the statutorily-mandated benefit for coverage of enteral formulas must be provided whether the enteral formula is administered orally or via feeding tube.

Unsolicited Convenience Checks
Ch. 467 of the Laws of 2013
Chapter 467 prohibits the unsolicited mailing of convenience checks to consumers without the express consent of the consumer. This section provides that consumers sent convenience checks by credit or debit card issuers shall not be liable for the use of such checks unless the consumer has accepted the check by using such check.

Life Insurer Foreign Investments
Ch. 471 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 471 amended the Insurance Law to increase the overall limit in foreign investments by life insurers from 20% to 26% of admitted assets, and to create a separate limit of 6% of admitted assets for unhedged foreign currency investments made by life insurers.

Iranian Investments
Ch. 481 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 481 amended the Insurance Law to require:  that investments made by domestic insurers in persons included on a list created by the Office of General Services must be treated as nonadmitted assets; a domestic insurer to determine by December 30 of each year what investments it had in the past calendar year in the foregoing persons; and a domestic insurer to provide a list of investments to the Superintendent by March 1 of each year.

Health Insurance Demonstration Program Sunset Extender
Ch. 488 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 488 amended section 2 of Chapter 362 of the Laws of 2012 to extend until December 31, 2014 the Health Insurance Demonstration Program for Early Retirees.

Streamlined Optional Adjudicatory Proceedings for Small Businesses
Ch. 491 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 491 amended the State Administrative Procedure Act and Economic Development Law to permit an agency to adopt regulations providing, at the option of a small business, for the use of streamlined adjudicatory proceedings conducted by mail, electronic mail, telephone conference, or videoconference, and to require the Small Business Advisory Board to report to the Commissioner of Economic Development, Governor, and Legislature on agency use of such proceedings.

Wellness Programs
Ch. 496 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 496 amended the Insurance Law to permit insurance producers to develop, implement, and administer wellness programs offered by insurers without violating the anti-rebating and inducement provisions of the Insurance Law.

Mutual Holding Company
Ch. 500 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 500 amended the Insurance Law to permit a domestic mutual life insurer with admitted assets of less than $10 billion to reorganize into a domestic stock life insurer through the formation of a mutual holding company.

Utilization Review and External Appeals
Ch. 514 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 514 amended the Insurance Law and Public Health Law to require that written notification to the enrollee’s health care provider be transmitted electronically, to the extent practicable, in a manner and form agreed to by the parties, and to extend the external appeal provider timeframe from 45 days to 60 days.

Tort Settlement Claims
Ch. 516 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 516 amended the General Obligations Law to protect from federal preemption an existing New York legal provision that prohibits a benefit provider from recouping the expenses it paid for an accident victim’s health services from a settling party.

Weight Control
Ch. 519 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 519 amended the Insurance Law by adding additional specified items to the list of services, rewards, and incentives that may be included in a wellness program established by an insurer or health maintenance organization in conjunction with its issuance of a group health insurance policy.  Ch. 519 also amended the Public Health Law to expand the ability of the Department of Health to conduct wellness education and outreach programs to elementary school and secondary school educators and to provide educational materials, including information about the health risks of being overweight, obese, or underweight.

Amounts Credited on Equity Indexed Universal Life Insurance Policies
Ch. 535 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 535 amended the Insurance Law to permit amounts credited on equity indexed universal life insurance policies to be credited less frequently than annually, but no less frequently than every three years.

NYPIUA Broad Form Coverage Reporting
Ch. 542 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 542 amended the Insurance Law to remove the requirement that NYPIUA report annually to the Superintendent the number of broad form policies written and to remove the requirement that the Superintendent report this information annually to the Governor and Legislature.

Public Adjusters
Ch. 546 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 546 amended the Insurance Law to prohibit a public adjuster from receiving referral fees unless the fees are disclosed to the insured up front, and to provide that the adjuster has an affirmative duty to act in the best interests of the insured.

Ch. 547 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 547 amended the Civil Service Law to require the Department of Civil Service to disclose to all employers participating in the New York State Health Insurance Program (“NYSHIP”), on a quarterly basis and in a manner directed by the Superintendent, all information relating to that employer’s utilization of provided benefits, claims, and premium payments.

Applied Behavior Analysis
Ch. 554 of the Laws of 2013
Ch. 554 amended the Education Law, Limited Liability Company Law, Partnership Law, and Social Services Law with regard to the profession and practice of applied behavior analysis.

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