SPONSOR:   

Sen. Blevins & Rep. B. Short & Rep. Oberle & Rep. Kowalko;

 

Sens. Bushweller, Ennis, Hall-Long, Henry, Peterson; Reps. Q. Johnson, Keeley, Mitchell, Schooley, D. Short

 

DELAWARE STATE SENATE

145th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

SENATE SUBSTITUTE NO. 1

FOR

SENATE BILL NO. 35

 

 

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RATES AND RATING ORGANIZATIONS.

 


WHEREAS, rising health insurance premiums are creating an enormous financial burden for Delaware families; and

WHEREAS, the State of Delaware regulates the premiums for auto insurance, homeowners insurance, and all other lines of property and casualty insurance utilizing a fair rate review project which is subject to judicial review; and

WHEREAS, the Delaware Code generally requires that all insurance rates may not be inadequate, excessive, or unfairly discriminatory; and

WHEREAS, health insurance premiums are now specifically exempted from the State of Delaware’s rate review process, so long as they comply with procedural requirements laid out in the Delaware Code;

NOW THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

 


Section 1.  Amend §2506, Title 18 of the Delaware Code by deleting subsections (a), (c), (d), and (e) as they appear therein and by adding new subsections (a) and (c) to read as follows:

“(a)  The Commissioner shall review filings as soon as reasonably possible after they have been made in order to determine whether they meet the requirements of this chapter.  The filings shall be deemed to meet the requirements of this chapter unless disapproved by the Commissioner.

(c)      No filing shall be effective unless filed with the Commissioner not less than 30 days prior to the proposed effective date.  Such filing shall be deemed to meet the statutory requirements unless disapproved by the Commissioner within 30 days of receipt of the filing.  If the Commissioner shall determine that additional time is needed to review a rate filing, the Commissioner shall, within 25 days after receipt of the filing, notify the filer that the review of the filing shall be extended up to 90 days after the receipt of the filing, unless the insurer shall agree to a longer term of review.”

Section 2.  Amend §2502(a)(4), Title 18 of the Delaware Code by adding the following phrase after the word “corporations”:  “, except for filings made pursuant to Chapter 72 of this Title.”.

Section 3.  This Act shall become effective the first day of the calendar month following 90 days after its enactment into Law.  


SYNOPSIS

This Act would grant the Delaware Insurance Department the authority to review and approve health insurance rates in a manner consistent with other insurers.  Under current law a health insurer’s rate filing can only be disapproved if it is inadequate.  It is necessary for Delaware’s citizens and health insurance consumers to know that health rate filings will only be approved if they are fair and not excessive.  The Act also provides the Commissioner an opportunity to extend the review period for any filing if, for any reason, a proper review and analysis cannot be performed within thirty days after a complete filing is received.

Author:  Senator Blevins