The Georgia Assembly passed several key bills during the 2016 legislative session before adjourning on March 24, 2016, subject to the Governor’s signature or veto by May 9, 2016:
Life Insurance Agent Protection for Advising on Alternatives to Policy Lapse or Surrender HB 193 – amends Georgia Insurance Code by creating new Section 33-25-15 which prohibits life insurance companies from terminating, fining or otherwise penalizing a life insurance agent for advising a policyholder about options to lapsing or surrendering, or securing benefits under, an individual life insurance policy.
Anti-Rebate/Inducement Law De Minimis Exception HB 784 – amends Georgia Insurance Code’s Unfair Trade Practices Act to exempt from the prohibition against inducements and rebates to insurance customers those advertisements or programs whereby prizes, goods, wares, store gift cards, gift certificates, sporting event tickets, or merchandise, not exceeding $100 in aggregate value in any one calendar year so long as the receipt of the item of value is not contingent on sale or renewal of an insurance policy.
Multiple Employer Self-Insured Health Plans No Longer Subject to Premium Tax HB 866 – amends Georgia Insurance Code Chapter 50 governing multiple employer self-insured health plans by repealing, and providing an express exemption from, the applicability of state insurance premium taxes to these plans.
Elimination of Additional Statutory Deposits for Foreign and Alien Insurers HB 882 – amends Georgia Insurance Code Section 33-3-9 by repealing subsection (a) thereof to eliminate the requirement that foreign and alien insurers licensed in Georgia maintain an additional statutory deposit with the Georgia Insurance Department which ranged from a discretionary amount between $10,000 and $25,000.
Imposition of Risk-Based Capital Plan Filings for HMOs HB 884 – amends Georgia Insurance Code Section 33-56-3(a)(1) by adding a new subsection (D) thereto to require a health maintenance organization to file a risk-based capital plan with the Georgia Insurance Department if the HMO’s total adjusted capital is less than or equal to its company action level risk-based capital amount but less than three times its authorized control level risk-based capital amount.
Regulation of Healthcare Provider Networks and Rental Preferred Provider Networks SB 158 – creates new Georgia Insurance Code Chapter 20C and Section 33-20C-1 for the regulation of a rental preferred provider network by, including registration with, the Georgia Insurance Department. A rental preferred provider network is one that contracts with a health insurer or other payor or with another preferred provider network to grant access to the terms and conditions of its contract with health care services providers, also referred to as “renting” or “leasing” the network, but does not include a proprietary network of a licensed insurer or arrangements providing for access to the proprietary network of a licensed insurer by its affiliates of the licensed insurer or by entities receiving administrative services from the licensed insurer or its affiliates.
Accessibility and Accuracy of Healthcare Provider Directories SB 302 – creates new Georgia Insurance Code Chapter 20C and Section 33-20C-2 requiring health insurers and health maintenance organizations to post on their websites current and accurate healthcare provider network directories with required specified healthcare provider information, which are electronically searchable and downloadable and must be updated not less than every 30 days. This bill also requires health insurers and health maintenance organizations to provide printed copies of their healthcare provider network directories to actual and prospective covered persons upon their request as well as conducting an annual audit of a reasonable sample size of their healthcare provider network directories for the accuracy of their information.
Captive Insurance Company Act Amendments SB 347 – amends Georgia Insurance Code Section 33-47-2 by authorizing an “agency captive insurance company,” which is owned or controlled by (a) an insurance agency, brokerage, managing general agent or reinsurance intermediary, or an affiliate thereof, that only reinsures the risk of insurance or annuity contracts placed by such agency, brokerage, managing general agent, or reinsurance intermediary or (b) a marketer, producer, administrator, issuer or provider of service contracts or warranties that only reinsures the contractual liability arising out of service contracts or warranties sold through such marketer, producer, administrator, issuer, or provider, and must maintain at least $250,000.00 in total surplus. It also exempts pure and agency captive insurance companies from the investment requirements contained in Chapter 11 and those requirements from Chapter 13 (Insurance Holding Company Systems) of the Georgia Insurance Code. In addition, this bill authorizes pure captive insurance companies to issue accident and sickness insurance policies.