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Regulatory Update

The NAIC seeks comment on annuity model; two states seek to block limited health plans and Nevada law shields casinos from COVID liability.
  • October 2020
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Annuities: Insurance trade groups are hopeful the release of a preliminary list of answers to frequently asked questions will spur attention and action toward adoption of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' revised Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model.

The NAIC now is fielding comments on the proposed FAQ, which is designed to address questions likely to come up as the states work to adopt the revised model regulation and assist in the uniform implementation of its provisions across member states and territories. Comments are open through Oct. 2.

The 13-question FAQ covers issues such as why the NAIC sought to rework the suitability model, training, the definition of a best interest standard of conduct and the obligations of care, disclosure and conflict of interest.

Insurance trade groups are eager to see the model taken up by the states.

“Personally, I think we will see significant activity once the FAQ comes out because I think that will just be another impetus for the NAIC to urge states to take action,” said Jason Berkowitz, chief legal and regulatory affairs officer for the Insured Retirement Institute.

Health Insurance: Insurance regulators in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are joining a lawsuit seeking to block the Trump administration's rule allowing short-term, limited duration health plans that don't meet Affordable Care Act standards.

The two states issued a joint brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Circuit to hold a hearing before the full panel of justices.

Earlier this year, two of those justices upheld the sale of expanded short-term health plans in a 2-1 decision, saying the plans are legal and consumers should be alert because “you get what you pay for.” The decision upheld a lower court ruling that supported the authority of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to allow the sale of short-term policies.

Liability: Casinos and other hospitality businesses in Nevada will be protected from liability for COVID-19 infections under a bill signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak.

The measure, SB 4, was introduced Aug. 3 and approved by both houses of the legislature Aug. 5, according to state legislative records. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association supported the bill.

The new law provides certain businesses with protection from COVID-19-related lawsuits if those businesses substantially comply with the controlling health recommendations at the time, it said.

It will remain in effect until the pandemic emergency is called off or no later than July 1, 2023, it said.

Not included in the law are public schools and nonprofits that operate hospitals, nursing homes, emergency care centers and hospices, it said.

The new law requires hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and Reno to follow regular cleaning and social distancing standards and require access to hand-washing facilities and hand sanitizer.


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