Banking Commerce and Insurance

Insurance omnibus measure clears final round

Lawmakers passed a bill April 11 that makes a number of changes to insurance regulation and real estate law in Nebraska.

Sen. Julie Slama
Sen. Julie Slama

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

The bill contains the provisions of eleven other measures considered by the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee this session.

Provisions of LB446, sponsored by Lincoln Sen. Eliot Bostar, provide a regulatory framework for peer-to-peer vehicle sharing in Nebraska and determine the priority of insurance liability. They 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.

Also sponsored by Bostar, the provisions of LB885 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 prohibit a deductible, coinsurance or cost-sharing requirement for qualified individuals.

Provisions of LB1136, sponsored by Norfolk Sen. Robert Dover, 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 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 measure are:
• LB873, sponsored by Lincoln Sen. Beau Ballard, which increases 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;
• LB990, introduced by Bostar, which alters the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Licensure and Regulation Act;
• LB1024, also sponsored by Bostar, which changes provisions related to documents and information provided to an independent review organization under the Health Carrier External Review Act;
• LB1135, introduced by Dover, which prohibits use of right-to-list home sale agreements and changes provisions of the Nebraska Real Estate License Act;
• LB1147, sponsored by Bostar, which provides requirements for separate investment accounts that hold assets of index-linked variable annuity contracts;
• LB1148, introduced by Blair Sen. Ben Hansen, which changes requirements relating to insurance coverage of step therapy for certain drugs;
• LB1227, sponsored by Ballard, which allows a professional employer organization to offer its covered employees any health benefit plan that meets the requirements of the Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement Act and the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act; and
• LB1409, introduced by Bostar, which changes 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 affects the rights and interests of the mortgagee or beneficiary.

LB1073 passed on a 44-0 vote and takes effect immediately.

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