Banking Commerce and Insurance

Insurance omnibus measure clears first round

A bill that would change requirements for onsite reviews of insurance administrators was amended to become an omnibus insurance measure and advanced from general file April 2.

Sen. Julie Slama
Sen. Julie Slama

As introduced by Dunbar Sen. Julie Slama, LB1073 would eliminate a requirement that at least one operations review of a third-party administrator within a semiannual review period be conducted onsite. The bill instead would give the director of the state Department of Insurance discretion to require an onsite evaluation if deemed necessary.

Nebraska is one of only 10 states to still require this “antiquated” in-person review, Slama said, and enforcement has become difficult with more third-party administrators working from home.

During debate March 28, Slama offered an amendment to make technical changes to the bill and add provisions of LB990 and LB446, both introduced by Lincoln Sen. Eliot Bostar.

LB990 would alter the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Licensure and Regulation Act and the provisions of LB446 would provide a regulatory framework for peer-to-peer vehicle sharing in Nebraska and determine the priority of insurance liability. The amendment would require that the owner and driver be insured under a motor vehicle liability insurance policy during each sharing period and specify what such a policy must include.

Sen. John Cavanaugh of Omaha offered a motion to divide the question and consider the provisions of LB446 separately from the rest of the Slama amendment.

Following a ruling from the presiding officer that the amendment could be divided, Cavanaugh filed another motion challenging the germaneness of the provisions, which he said were not substantively related to the overall committee package.

That motion was denied and a motion from Cavanaugh to overrule the presiding officer was defeated on a vote of 9-29. The Legislature adjourned for the week before taking any additional votes.

When debate resumed April 2, lawmakers voted 37-0 to adopt the Slama amendment containing the provisions of LB446. The rest of the amendment was adopted on a vote of 38-0.

A Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee amendment, adopted 38-0, added portions of nine other bills.

Provisions of LB885, sponsored by Bostar, would create a lung cancer screening mandate for individuals between 50 and 80 years of age who currently smoke or who quit within the past 15 years and had a 20-pack per year smoking history. The provisions would prohibit a deductible, coinsurance or cost-sharing requirement for qualified individuals.

LB1136, sponsored by Norfolk Sen. Robert Dover, would increase the maximum civil fine that the state Real Estate Commission may impose on an individual performing brokerage activities in Nebraska without a license. The provisions would raise the cap from $2,500 per complaint to $5,000 or the total amount of commission earned by the licensee in each transaction subject to a complaint.

Also included in the committee amendment are:
• LB873, sponsored by Lincoln Sen. Beau Ballard, which would increase from $500 to $5,000 the amount of “good funds” a person acting as a real estate closing agent must have available for disbursement at the time of closing a real estate transaction;
• LB1024, introduced by Bostar, which would change provisions related to documents and information provided to an independent review organization under the Health Carrier External Review Act;
• LB1135, sponsored by Dover, which would prohibit use of right-to-list home sale agreements and change provisions of the Nebraska Real Estate License Act;
• LB1147, introduced by Bostar, which would provide requirements for separate investment accounts that hold assets of index-linked variable annuity contracts;
• LB1148, sponsored by Blair Sen. Ben Hansen, which would change requirements relating to insurance coverage of step therapy for certain drugs;
• LB1227, introduced by Ballard, which would allow a professional employer organization to offer its covered employees any health benefit plan that follows the requirements of the Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement Act and the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act; and
• LB1409, sponsored by Bostar, which would change provisions of the Nebraska Condominium Act related to notification requirements regarding the subdivision of a unit, creation of timeshares or proposed amendment to a declaration that adversely affects the priority of the mortgagee’s right to foreclose its lien or otherwise materially affect the rights and interests of the mortgagee or beneficiary.

Following adoption of the committee amendment, lawmakers voted 38-0 to advance LB1073 to select file.

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