Legislative Wrap-Up

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2017 Legislative Update

April 4, 2017

2017 Spring Session Now Over!

Mississippi’s 2017 Legislative Session is now in the history books – and MASI is pleased to report that all legislation presenting a threat to our members is now dead until next year.

We are grateful to our leaders in the House and the Senate, especially House Insurance Committee Chairman Gary Chism and Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Videt Carmichael for their diligence in safeguarding our members and fighting off attempts to dismantle progress made over the years that would bog down our industry with excess regulation.

MASI Helps to Preserve Workers’ Comp Second Injury Fund

clip_image006MASI joined hands with the MS Workers’ Comp Commission to safeguard Mississippi’s Workers’ Comp Second Injury Fund. During the last week of the Spring Legislative Session, this special fund was restored to the control of the MS Workers’ Compensation Commission.

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Beth Aldridge, MWCC Commissioner, Senate Appropriations Chairman Buck Clarke of Hollandale, and House Appropriations Chairman John Reed to get the trust fund restored.

This fund, which pays perm/total claims resulting from second injuries, had been swept into the General Fund last year by legislation to consolidate agency accounts. Two bills were passed concurrently to correct this dilemma: SB2625 and HB887.

 

Senate Confirms Hon. Mark Formby as New MWCC Chairman

clip_image008MASI congratulates the Hon. Mark Formby who was confirmed by the Mississippi Senate during the closing days of the session to be the next Chairman of the MS Workers’ Comp Commission. Rep. Formby was appointed by Governor Phil Bryant to replace the Hon. Liles Williams, who will soon retire after serving honorably in this position for 12 years.

Representative Formby was born August 16, 1956 in Starkville and is married to the former Rita Gaidamovics and is the father of two children. He is of the Baptist faith. He is a graduate of Pearl River Community College and Mississippi State University, and has represented Pearl River County in the MS House of Representatives since 1993. He has served in numerous leadership positions, including Chairman of Insurance for several years. He was one of the primary leaders in helping MASI pass Mississippi’s Historic Workers’ Comp Reform bill in 2012. Representative Formby is a longtime realtor in Picayune, and is affiliated with the Jaycees, Kiwanis, D.U., Picayune Bass Club, Epsilon Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega and A.L.E.C. He is also the former Legislative Assistant to US Senator Trent Lott.

MASI looks forward to working with Chairman Formby in this exciting new role!

 

Workplace Wellness Tax Credit Fails to Gain Senate’s Support

clip_image010Mississippi’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit is now dead. In spite of passing the House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority, HB1616 failed to get the support of Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, spelling its demise in the Senate.

MASI appreciates the support of Mississippi’s leadership: Governor Phil Bryant, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, and Speaker Philip Gunn. We also appreciate the support of House Ways and Means Chairman, Jeff Smith of Columbus, whose tireless support for this progressive initiative has meant so much. Many of our members made appeals to the Senate and to the Lt. Governor to pass this bill, and for this we are grateful. Perhaps in the future, our work will finally bear results.

The Mississippi Association of Self-Insurers, MASI, is committed to representing the interests of the self-insured workers’ comp and health community by promoting knowledge and providing advocacy in legislative and regulatory arenas. We are pleased to report on this year’s legislative session. If you have specific questions, please contact us!

For information on specific bills, or to view the Legislative Webpage, click here.

As always, thank you for your support of MASI!

Dan

Dan M. Gibson, Executive Director

Mississippi Association of Self-Insurers

825 N. President Street

Jackson, Mississippi  39202

601-354-0199

www.masiweb.org

Wellness Tax Credit Passes House!

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2017 Legislative Update

February 28, 2017

IMPORTANT INFORMATION – SUPPORT NEEDED IN THE SENATE…

PLEASE FORWARD TO YOUR CONTACTS… SUPPORT WORKPLACE WELLNESS!!

Workplace Wellness Tax Credit Passes House of Representatives!

clip_image006Mississippi’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit may be on its way to becoming law! It has cleared a major hurdle: the Mississippi House of Representatives passed it by an overwhelming majority. Authored by House Ways and Means Chairman, Jeff Smith of Columbus, HB1616 would allow $1 million in tax credits for employers who provide wellness programs for their employees. The tax credit would be capped at half of the cost of the wellness plan, up to a maximum of $20,000 per employer, and would be available on a first come, first serve basis.

MASI applauds Chairman Smith for his leadership and support of this important issue. His enthusiasm for this bill has never wavered, and we appreciate his leadership.

Support Now Needed in the Senate!

clip_image008HB1616 now heads to the Senate – and it is in the Senate where we need your help. For the past several years, the Senate has failed to pass the Workplace Wellness Tax Credit.

Last week, they allowed our Senate Bill to die on the calendar. Without the Senate’s support, this bill will never become law.

We encourage our members to contact Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and urge him to support HB1616! To reach Lt. Governor Reeves, call 601-359-3200 or email him, ltgov@senate.ms.gov.

MASI Thanks Speaker Gunn

clip_image010MASI wishes to thank House Speaker Philip Gunn whose support has been invaluable. Many will recall that Speaker Gunn was the first state official to endorse our Wellness Tax Credit, three years ago in 2014.

Pictured with Speaker Gunn are Donnie Smith, VP of HR, Rush Health Systems, Dan Gibson, MASI Executive Director, and Dr. Zilin Wang, Cardiologist, Heart Plus Medical Clinic.

DAN GIBSON — The workplace wellness tax credit – a win-win for Mississippi

clip_image012If you’re like me, you really get tired of hearing about how fat we are. Do we really need anyone to tell us?? Sure we have some of the best cooks in the world, but it’s just awful how much we get picked on. Travel to any other place, especially a foreign country, and it’s easy to see why we are fat – talk about awesome Southern cuisine!

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING…

MASI’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit – A Win Win for Everyone!

clip_image014The cornerstone of MASI’s 2017 Legislative Agenda is the Workplace Wellness Tax Credit, to allow $1 million in tax credits for employers who provide wellness programs for their employees. This is a Win-Win proposal for workers’ comp plans and health plans both!

To read talking points on MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit bill, CLICK HERE. To read HB1616, CLICK HERE.

To send an email expressing YOUR SUPPORT for MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit, CLICK HERE.

As The Voice of One for self-insured healthcare and workers’ comp in Mississippi, MASI wants to serve you! As in years past, we will be hard at work tracking bills and keeping you informed of the ones that concern you. We will endeavor to safeguard our industry from harmful legislation and over-reaching regulation. If at any time you hear of legislation that concerns you, please do not hesitate to contact us!

As always, thank you for your support of MASI!

Dan

Dan M. Gibson, Executive Director

Mississippi Association of Self-Insurers

825 N. President Street

Jackson, Mississippi  39202

601-354-0199

www.masiweb.org

Deadlines Approaching

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Legislative Session Fully In Gear – Major Deadline One Week Away

clip_image002The 2017 Session of the Mississippi Legislature is fully in gear – and important deadlines are approaching. With deadlines for the introduction of general legislation now past, all eyes are on next Tuesday, January 31 – the deadline for reporting general bills out of committee. 

The list of legislation has grown rapidly since our last legislative report. Please scroll down for a current list of pending legislation.

Chairman Jeff Smith Will Again Introduce MASI’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit

At left, MASI Executive Director Dan Gibson meets with House Ways and Means Chairman Jeff Smith, champion of MASI’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit for the past three years. Chairman Smith has offered to again introduce the House version of the bill, which will provide $1 million in tax credits to encourage employers to offer wellness programs to their employees.

Last year, Chairman Smith led the House in passing the bill almost unanimously. We are hopeful that the Senate this year will concur in passing the bill. Scroll down for more information on Mississippi’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit!

To visit the Legislative Homepage, click here. Scroll down to the bottom of this email for a listing of active bills.

DAN GIBSON — The workplace wellness tax credit – a win-win for Mississippi

clip_image004If you’re like me, you really get tired of hearing about how fat we are. Do we really need anyone to tell us?? Sure we have some of the best cooks in the world, but it’s just awful how much we get picked on. Travel to any other place, especially a foreign country, and it’s easy to see why we are fat – talk about awesome Southern cuisine!

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING…

MASI’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit – A Win Win for Everyone!

clip_image006The cornerstone of MASI’s 2017 Legislative Agenda is the Workplace Wellness Tax Credit, to allow $1 million in tax credits for employers who provide wellness programs for their employees. This is a Win-Win proposal for workers’ comp plans and health plans both! Rep. Jeff Smith and Sen. Joey Fillingane have both graciously agreed to file the bill again for MASI. We will post it as soon as it hits the legislative website. As a revenue bill, we will be facing a later deadline than general bills – and we will be sure to keep you posted on its progress.

To read talking points on MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit bill, CLICK HERE. To read the bill, CLICK HERE. To send an email expressing YOUR SUPPORT for MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit, CLICK HERE.

List of Bills MASI is Watching

Workers’ Comp Bills

HB 169

Workers’ Compensation; increase maximum total recovery and remove cap on permanent total disability compensation.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Sykes

HB 171

Workers’ Compensation; require death benefits payments to next-of-kin if no dependents exist.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Scott

HB 172

Workers’ Compensation Law; increase maximum total recovery under to 520 weeks.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Hines

HB 183

Workers’ Compensation Law; reduce certain repayment to employer after third party lawsuit due to attributable fault.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Baria

HB 186

Workers’ Compensation Law; provide commission has exclusive jurisdiction of bad faith claims.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Formby

HB 308

Workers’ Compensation Law; revise various provisions regarding.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Sykes

HB 901

Workers’ compensation; require emergency hearing upon request of either party.
01/16 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Watson

SB2040

Workers’ compensation; increase maximum total recovery and remove cap on permanent total disability compensation.
01/05 (S) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary, Division A

 

Simmons (12th)

SB2599

Workers’ compensation claims; may be made by persons 18 and older.
01/16 (S) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary, Division A

 

Tindell

Health Insurance/ Health Related Bills

HB 167

Health insurance policies; require coverage for certain obesity treatments.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Clark

HB 168

Health Insurance policies; require coverage for hearing aids and services for children under 21.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Massengill

HB 175

Small business health insurance pool; create.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Revenue and Expenditure General Bills

 

Scott

HB 181

Insurance; prohibit delaying medical bill payment of insured for purpose of establishing subrogation rights.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Baria

HB 337

Mississippi Patient Protection Act of 2017; create.
01/05 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Currie

HB 369

Health insurance policies; require coverage certain examinations primarily related to women’s health.
01/05 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Currie

HB 371

Vision insurance; prohibit provider contracts from establishing or limiting fees for noncovered services.
01/05 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Chism

HB 451

Health insurance policies; require certain policies to cover infertility treatment and diagnosis.
01/09 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Kirby

HB 507

Health insurance policies; require certain to cover infertility treatment and certain women’s examinations.
01/13 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Steverson

SB2024

Health insurance; require coverage for hearing aids and services for hearing impaired children.
01/05 (S) Referred To Insurance;Appropriations

 

Carmichael

HB 522

Health care services policies; prohibit use of discretionary provisions in.
01/13 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Lamar

HB 538

Prescription drugs; health insurance policies must allow for partial refills for purposes of medication synchronization.
01/13 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Mims

HB 861

State Employees Health Insurance Plan; establish telehealth services pilot program for urgent care.
01/13 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Formby

HB 862

The Patient Choice Act of 2017; enact.
01/13 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Chism

SB2072

Health insurance; Commissioner of Insurance must approve rate filings containing an increase in premiums.
01/05 (S) Referred To Insurance

 

Norwood

SB2072

Health insurance; Commissioner of Insurance must approve rate filings containing an increase in premiums.
01/05 (S) Referred To Insurance

 

Norwood

SB2109

Health insurance policies; require coverage for hearing aids and services for children under 21.
01/09 (S) Referred To Insurance;Appropriations

 

DeBar

SB2286

Health insurers; require to release certain claims data upon request of group policyholder.
01/13 (S) Referred To Insurance

 

Watson *

SB2301

Health care insurance; no person, employer or health care provider shall be required to participate in any health care plan.
01/13 (S) Referred To Insurance

 

Watson

SB2655

Health insurance policies; require coverage of infertility treatment and diagnosis.
01/16 (S) Referred To Appropriations;Insurance

 

Parks

SB2768

Health insurance policies; require coverage for colorectal cancer examinations.
01/16 (S) Referred To Insurance;Appropriations

 

Dawkins

SB2895

Health insurance policies; require coverage of infertility treatment and certain women’s examinations.
01/16 (S) Referred To Appropriations;Insurance

 

Parks

General Insurance Bills

HB 170

Insurance companies; require to offer property and casualty insurance if offered in another state.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Scott

HB 447

Surplus lines insurance; revise process and requirements before placing coverage with a producer.
01/17 (H) Title Suff Do Pass Comm Sub

 

Chism

HB 603

Insurance; require certain consumer information and notice and availability of mediation regarding balance billing.
01/13 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Dortch

HB 650

Insurance fraud; provide civil immunity for certain reporting when done in good faith.
01/13 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Steverson

HB 706

Insurance companies; revise laws regulating holding companies and credit for reinsurance, require risk and solvency assessments.
01/13 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Chism

HB 957

Insurance adjusters; revise licensing laws regarding.
01/16 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Chism

SB2064

Insurance agents; exempt age 75 or older from continuing education requirements.
01/18 (S) DR – TSDP: IN To AC

 

Dearing

SB2589
%

Government self-insurance programs; authorize Commissioner of Insurance to conduct examinations of.
01/16 (S) Referred To Insurance;Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency

 

Kirby

SB2723

Insurance adjusters license; revise waiver of license requirements and examination exemptions.
01/16 (S) Referred To Insurance

 

Parks

List of Bills Narrows Greatly

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Legislative Session Rocking Along – List of Bills Narrows Greatly

clip_image002The 2017 Session of the Mississippi Legislature is rocking along, and with last week’s deadline now past for reporting bills out of committee, the list of bills has narrowed greatly – in fact, we now have the shortest list of active bills that we have had in years.

Pictured, the Senate Insurance Committee, chaired by Videt Carmichael of Meridian, takes up a few bills just prior to the deadline. An equally short list was passed by the House Insurance Committee as well, chaired by Gary Chism of Columbus. Both committees successfully defeated bills which were of concern to MASI – and for the leadership of these chairmen we are most grateful.

Another major deadline occurs later this week: Thursday, February 9 will be the deadline for each chamber to report general bills. The process will  begin all over again, with new committee deadlines and reporting deadlines in place for the second stage of consideration of bills that survive past Thursday.

Revenue bills fall under a later deadline… and we are hopeful that MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit will pass committees later this month.

As previously mentioned, the list of legislation has narrowed greatly since our last legislative report. Please scroll down for a current list of pending legislation.

MASI Helps to Preserve Workers’ Comp Second Injury Fund

clip_image004MASI is joining hands with the MS Workers’ Comp Commission to safeguard Mississippi’s Workers’ Comp Second Injury Fund. Swept into the General Fund last year by legislation to consolidate agency accounts, this trust fund which pays perm/total claims resulting from second injuries is no longer under MWCC oversight. Two bills are pending that will hopefully correct this dilemma: SB2625 and HB887.

Pictured are Dan Gibson, MASI Executive Director, and Beth Aldridge, MWCC Commissioner, meeting with Senate Appropriations Chairman Buck Clarke of Hollandale, and Senate Appropriations Committee Member Josh Harkins of Flowood. Gibson and Aldridge also met with House Appropriations Chairman John Reed who expressed his support.

Currently, neither bill addresses the Second Injury Fund directly. Work is taking place, however, to make sure it is added by amendment.

Chairman Jeff Smith Will Again Introduce MASI’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit

clip_image006At left, MASI Executive Director Dan Gibson meets with House Ways and Means Chairman Jeff Smith, champion of MASI’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit for the past three years. Chairman Smith has offered to again introduce the House version of the bill, which will provide $1 million in tax credits to encourage employers to offer wellness programs to their employees.

Last year, Chairman Smith led the House in passing the bill almost unanimously. We are hopeful that the Senate this year will concur in passing the bill. Scroll down for more information on Mississippi’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit!

To visit the Legislative Homepage, click here. Scroll down to the bottom of this email for a listing of active bills.

DAN GIBSON — The workplace wellness tax credit – a win-win for Mississippi

clip_image008If you’re like me, you really get tired of hearing about how fat we are. Do we really need anyone to tell us?? Sure we have some of the best cooks in the world, but it’s just awful how much we get picked on. Travel to any other place, especially a foreign country, and it’s easy to see why we are fat – talk about awesome Southern cuisine!

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING…

MASI’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit – A Win Win for Everyone!

clip_image010The cornerstone of MASI’s 2017 Legislative Agenda is the Workplace Wellness Tax Credit, to allow $1 million in tax credits for employers who provide wellness programs for their employees. This is a Win-Win proposal for workers’ comp plans and health plans both! Rep. Jeff Smith and Sen. Joey Fillingane have both graciously agreed to file the bill again for MASI. We will post it as soon as it hits the legislative website. As a revenue bill, we will be facing a later deadline than general bills – and we will be sure to keep you posted on its progress.

To read talking points on MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit bill, CLICK HERE. To read SB2940, CLICK HERE. (We are still waiting to share the House version.)

To send an email expressing YOUR SUPPORT for MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit, CLICK HERE.

List of Bills MASI is Watching

Workers’ Comp Bills

SB2625

Deposit of state agency special funds into the State General Fund; make technical amendments.
01/31 (S) Title Suff Do Pass Comm Sub

 

Clarke

Health Insurance/ Health Related Bills

HB 909

State Health Plan; require to allow state employees to comparison-shop for elective medical procedures.
01/31 (H) Title Suff Do Pass Comm Sub

 

Boyd

SB2940
%$

Income tax; authorize a credit for employers who pay the cost of a qualified wellness program.
01/30 (S) Referred To Finance

 

Fillingane

General Insurance Bills

HB 957

Insurance adjusters; revise licensing laws regarding.
01/31 (H) Title Suff Do Pass Comm Sub

 

Chism

2017 Session Off and Running

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clip_image002The 2017 Session of the Mississippi Legislature began last Tuesday, January 3. With all committee chairpersons in place and the legislative calendar already set, the session is off and running!

Just two days into the session, MASI has already begun working on our Workplace Wellness Tax Credit – a bill that would establish tax incentives for employers offering wellness programs for their employees. On Wednesday, January 4, MASI met with Lt. Governor Tate Reeves to ask for his support.

A delegation headed by MASI President Maury Hull of Hol-Mac Corporation included Mr. Charles Holder, founder and owner of Hol-Mac, Donnie Smith, VP of Human Relations and Public Relations for Rush Health Systems, and Dan Gibson, Executive Director of MASI. Also in attendance were Tim Moore, Executive Director of the MS Hospital Association and Richard Roberson, Director of Governmental Affairs for the MHA.

At the meeting, Mr. Hull told of great success in Hol-Mac’s wellness program, and how an annual corporate investment of nearly one half million dollars was resulting in tremendous savings in health insurance expense – evidence that the modest investment of state tax dollars into a tax credit would very likely reap impressive returns and pay for itself. The point was made also that many individuals who are participating in employer-sponsored wellness programs are actually employee spouses, who are currently on the state’s health plan – teachers being a prime example. It only stands to reason that as these individuals become healthier, the state of Mississippi will reap the benefit.

MASI appreciates the kindness and receptive spirit shown to us by the Lt. Governor in Wednesday’s meeting. We are hopeful that his support will help take this bill to victory. The bill passed the House last year by a nearly unanimous vote. All we need is for the Senate to concur.

To visit the Legislative Homepage, click here. Scroll down to the bottom of this email for a listing of active bills.

MASI’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit Being Introduced Again!!

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DAN GIBSON — The workplace wellness tax credit – a win-win for Mississippi

If you’re like me, you really get tired of hearing about how fat we are. Do we really need anyone to tell us?? Sure we have some of the best cooks in the world, but it’s just awful how much we get picked on. Travel to any other place, especially a foreign country, and it’s easy to see why we are fat – talk about awesome Southern cuisine!

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING…

MASI’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit – A Win Win for Everyone!

clip_image006The cornerstone of MASI’s 2017 Legislative Agenda is the Workplace Wellness Tax Credit, to allow $1 million in tax credits for employers who provide wellness programs for their employees. This is a Win-Win proposal for workers’ comp plans and health plans both! Rep. Jeff Smith and Sen. Joey Fillingane have both graciously agreed to file the bill again for MASI. We will post it as soon as it hits the legislative website. As a revenue bill, we will be facing a later deadline than general bills – and we will be sure to keep you posted on its progress.

To read talking points on MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit bill, CLICK HERE. To read the bill, CLICK HERE. To send an email expressing YOUR SUPPORT for MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit, CLICK HERE.

List of Bills MASI is Watching

Workers’ Comp Bills

HB 169

Workers’ Compensation; increase maximum total recovery and remove cap on permanent total disability compensation.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Sykes

HB 171

Workers’ Compensation; require death benefits payments to next-of-kin if no dependents exist.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Scott

HB 172

Workers’ Compensation Law; increase maximum total recovery under to 520 weeks.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Hines

HB 183

Workers’ Compensation Law; reduce certain repayment to employer after third party lawsuit due to attributable fault.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Baria

HB 186

Workers’ Compensation Law; provide commission has exclusive jurisdiction of bad faith claims.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Formby

HB 308

Workers’ Compensation Law; revise various provisions regarding.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Sykes

SB2040

Workers’ compensation; increase maximum total recovery and remove cap on permanent total disability compensation.
01/05 (S) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary, Division A

 

Simmons (12th)

Health Insurance/ Health Related Bills

HB 167

Health insurance policies; require coverage for certain obesity treatments.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Clark

HB 168

Health Insurance policies; require coverage for hearing aids and services for children under 21.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Massengill

HB 175

Small business health insurance pool; create.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Revenue and Expenditure General Bills

 

Scott

HB 181

Insurance; prohibit delaying medical bill payment of insured for purpose of establishing subrogation rights.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary A

 

Baria

HB 337

Mississippi Patient Protection Act of 2017; create.
01/05 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Currie

HB 369

Health insurance policies; require coverage certain examinations primarily related to women’s health.
01/05 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Currie

HB 371

Vision insurance; prohibit provider contracts from establishing or limiting fees for noncovered services.
01/05 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Chism

SB2012

Group health insurance plan coverage for prescription drugs; authorize medication synchronization for beneficiaries.
01/05 (S) Referred To Insurance

 

Kirby

SB2024

Health insurance; require coverage for hearing aids and services for hearing impaired children.
01/05 (S) Referred To Insurance;Appropriations

 

Carmichael

SB2072

Health insurance; Commissioner of Insurance must approve rate filings containing an increase in premiums.
01/05 (S) Referred To Insurance

 

Norwood

SB2109

Health insurance policies; require coverage for hearing aids and services for children under 21.
01/09 (S) Referred To Insurance;Appropriations

 

DeBar

General Insurance Bills

HB 170

Insurance companies; require to offer property and casualty insurance if offered in another state.
01/03 (H) Referred To Insurance

 

Scott

2016 Session Wrap Up

posted in: Legislation & Regulation | 0

JACKSON – With the 2016 Spring Session of the Mississippi Legislature now in the books, the list of bills now either passed or awaiting approval by the governor is set. And as the Legislative Watchdog for our members, MASI is pleased to provide this final update.

 

As in years past, many dangerous bills were introduced – bills that if passed would have been very harmful to the self-insured workers’ comp and health community. We are proud of the fact that these bills again failed to pass, thanks in large part to the support of friends at the Capitol such as Senate Insurance Chairman Videt Carmichael and House Insurance Chairman Gary Chism. We thank them for their leadership and support.

 

MASI Helps Pass New Adjuster Bill

An important bill that MASI was involved in helping pass was SB2193, which creates a new license for workers’ comp adjusters. We believe this is a positive step forward for our industry and will result in better trained adjusters who will better serve the injured workers in our state. We hope to assist with adjuster training using the curriculum we have created for our Certified Self-Insured Workers’ Comp Professional program. This bill also creates parity and reciprocity with other states. A worrisome amendment was removed during conference, and we expect the governor to quickly sign this bill.

 

Workplace Wellness Tax Credit Dies In Final Hours

Mississippi’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit died unfortunately in the final hours of the legislative session. We were hopeful that HB408 would prevail, having passed the House by a margin of 115 to 6. The Senate never acted on it, however, allowing it to die, as did the Senate version, SB2016.

 

House Ways and Means Chairman Jeff Smith fought valiantly to keep our Wellness Tax Credit alive by attaching it to the House Conference Report on SB2922, the Historic Tax Credit Bill. In the final hours of negotiations, however, the Senate struck the Wellness Tax Credit from the conference report.

 

If passed, this credit would have allowed $1 million in tax credits for employers who provide wellness programs for their employees, making Mississippi one of only four states to offer such a powerful incentive for healthy living.

 

We look forward to better results next year, however, and we do thank Governor Bryant, Speaker Gunn, and Insurance Commissioner Chaney for their support.

 

Other Bills That Have Passed…

Other bills we have been watching that have now been passed are as follows:

SB2070 – This bill requires accommodations by employers and public facilities for mothers who are breastfeeding. We believe this bill constitutes good public policy in that it will promote a healthy practice that is proven to contribute to the long term health of our citizens.

SB2189 – This bill changes the risk-based capital requirements for life and/or health insurers upon company action level event.

SB2192 – This bill allows the Insurance Commissioner to have more authority over taking action against non-resident producers who have been sanctioned for malfeasance in other states.

SB2300 – This bill revises eligibility for coverage in the Comprehensive Health Insurance Risk Pool and clarifies when an association may close enrollment.

SB2362 – This bill, called the Budget Transparency and Simplification Act, requires that all special funded agencies including the MWCC by placed under the control of the General Fund. Time will tell if it results in increased costs at the Commission, which could have an impact on our members.

HB 93 – This bill clarifies and revises the assignment provisions regarding health insurance.

For more information, or to visit the Legislative Homepage, click here.   

 

Workplace Wellness Tax Credit Passes House of Representatives!

Mississippi’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit may be on its way to becoming law! It cleared a major hurdle this week: the Mississippi House of Representatives passed it by a margin of 115 to 6. Authored by House Ways and Means Chairman, Jeff Smith of Columbus, HB408, would allow $1 million in tax credits for employers who provide wellness programs for their employees. The tax credit would be capped at half of the cost of the wellness plan, up to a maximum of $20,000 per employer, and would be available on a first come, first serve basis.

 

MASI applauds Chairman Smith for his leadership and support of this important issue. His enthusiasm for this bill has never wavered, and we appreciate his leadership.

 

MASI also wishes to thank House Speaker Philip Gunn. Many will recall that Speaker Gunn enthusiastically expressed his support of the Wellness Tax Credit at the 2014 Fall Conference, and this week he acted on that endorsement and helped ensure its passage.

 

HB408 now heads to the Senate, where a companion bill, SB2016 awaits action in the Senate Finance Committee. This bill is authored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Joey Fillingane of Sumrall – and MASI applauds and appreciates his support!

 

To read talking points on MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit bill, CLICK HERE.

To view the vote on HB408, CLICK HERE.

To send an email expressing YOUR SUPPORT for MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit, CLICK HERE.

 

To visit the Legislative Homepage, click here.   Scroll down to the bottom of this email for a listing of active bills.

 

MS INSURANCE COMMISSIONER MIKE CHANEY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT WORKPLACE WELLNESS BILL

Speaking to a record crowd yesterday at MASI’s 9th Annual Winter Conference, MS Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney shared optimism that Mississippi’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit may be passed this year. Along with an excellent update on the latest Affordable Care Act mandates, Commissioner Chaney applauded the concept of promoting wellness among the state’s employers, reporting that his own department has initiated a wellness program and is already seeing positive results. “People are getting healthier,” he said. “They are losing weight – diabetes is being reversed in some cases. It’s been really good.”

To send an email expressing YOUR SUPPORT for MASI’s Wellness Tax Credit, CLICK HERE.