Legislative Update – Monday, February 17, 2020

posted in: Legislation & Regulation | 0

2020 Legislative Session Now In Full Swing…. Many Bills Introduced

The 2020 Legislative Session is now in full swing! Many bills have been introduced and are being deliberated and discussed. A few have already passed and many more are on the calendar for action soon.

This year, being the first year of a new term, the session will last one month longer than usual, concluding May 10 as opposed to early April. This allows more time for new committee assignments to be made and new legislators to become oriented.

With later legislative deadlines, more time can be given to the process of introducing legislation. The first deadline for passage of general bills out of committee in each chamber is March 3. Revenue bills have a later deadline: March 25.

As we do every year, MASI is busy tracking bills for our members. A list of these bills can be found at the bottom of this report.

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


MASI Hosts Legislative Day at the Capitol

Partnering with the MS Association of Health Underwriters, MASI Executive Director Dan Gibson hosted a Legislative Day at the State Capitol on February 5. The event was well-attended and meetings took place with key legislative leaders. Pictured is the group with Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann as MASI’s Workplace Wellness Tax Credit is being discussed.

 


In the Senate Chamber with Senator Walter Michel, Chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee

The group met with Senator Josh Harkins, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Pictured with long-time friend of MASI, Senator Dean Kirby, President-Pro-Tem of the Senate.

Meeting with Rep. Gary Chism, Chairman of the House Insurance Committee.

Dan Gibson introduces his long-time friend Walter Michel, the new chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, to the MASI/MAHU Group.

Enjoying a visit with Sen. David Blount in the Senate Chamber.

 


MISSISSIPPI INJURED WORKERS PRIVACY ACT

Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate both to limit the practice of allowing the invasion of an injured worker’s privacy. These are HB 461 and SB 2198.

Imagine being able to walk into the ER at the hospital and requesting the contact information of everyone who has been admitted that day. That is exactly what is taking place at the MS Workers Comp Commission on a daily basis – all due to a loophole in Mississippi’s Public Records Act.

MASI will be working to get these bills passed this year to enact protections on the personal information of injured workers. It’s past-time to protect their privacy!


BILLS TO OUTLAW SYNTHETIC HUMAN URINE

Hard to imagine that in Mississippi it is legal for someone to purchase Synthetic Human Urine for the purposes of faking a drug test at work. This has resulted in an unsafe work environment, and MASI is fighting to change this.

Several bills are pending in both the House and Senate this year. We expect HB 97, authored by Rep. Nick Bain, to pass committee soon, and several companion bills are expected to also pass the Senate. SB 2192, authored by Sen. Tyler McCaughn, is one bill now under consideration. It is being called the “Jessica Marie Lofton Act”, named after a young woman who sadly lost her life due to drug overdose masked by the use of synthetic urine.


RETURN TO SPECIAL FUND BILL

MASI will be helping to pass a bill that will restore fiscal control to the MWCC and shield the Administrative Expense Fund from being diverted to fund other agencies.

HB 306, authored by Rep. Gary Chism, will do just this and we are hoping it will be passed by the House Appropriations Committee soon. A companion bill, SB 2205, authored by Sen. Joey Fillingane, has been introduced in the Senate as well.

MASI supports this action because it is the right thing to do, and it will allow assessments against our members to go down. We believe that the monies paid by our employer and group members to fund the operation of the MWCC should not be diverted to other state agencies, and our members should not be left to fund the difference through higher assessments.

 

WORKPLACE WELLNESS TAX CREDIT

MASI will again be pursuing passage of the Workplace Wellness Tax Credit, to allow $1 million in tax credits for employers who provide wellness programs for their employees.

SB 2289, authored by Sen. Joey Fillingane, has been introduced in the Senate and a companion bill is expected to be introduced in the House soon.

Pictured are Dan Gibson, MASI Executive Director and Murray Harber, MS Bus. Group on Health Executive Director, with Hon. Trey Lamar, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and Hon. Jody Steverson, Vice-Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

This is a Win-Win proposal for workers’ comp plans and health plans both! 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.


KEY MISSISSIPPI STATE LEADERS…. CLICK FOR CONTACT INFORMATION

Gov.

Tate

Reeves

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann

Speaker

Philip

Gunn

Ins.Comm. Mike

Chaney

MWCC Chair, Mark

Formby

 


Speaker Philip Gunn Appoints New Leadership Team in the House

The Speaker of the House, Philip Gunn, has appointed his leadership team for the new term. We look forward to these outstanding public servants.







Hon. Jason White

SPEAKER PRO-TEM

Hon. Gary Chism

INSURANCE

Hon. Sam Mims

PUBLIC HEALTH

Hon. John Read

APPROPRIATIONS

Hon. Angela Cockerham

JUD A

Hon. Trey Lamar

WAYS & MEANS

Hon. Donnie Bell

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Hon. Nick Bain

JUD B

 


SENATE LEADERSHIP

Sen. Dean Kirby

Sen. Dean

Kirby

PRES PRO TEM

Sen. Walter Michel

Sen. Walter

Michel

INSURANCE

Sen. Hob Bryan

Sen. Hob

Bryan

PUBLIC HEALTH

Sen. Josh Harkins

Sen. Josh

Harkins

FINANCE

Sen. Briggs Hopson

Sen. Briggs

Hopson

APPROPRIATIONS

Sen. Sally Doty

Sen. Sally

Doty

JUD A

Sen. John Horhn

Sen. John

Horhn

LABOR

Sen. Brice Wiggins

Sen. Brice

Wiggins

JUD B

 


WORKERS’ COMP BILLS

HB 306

Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission; return to a special fund agency.

01/28 (H) Referred To AppropriationsChism

HB 198

Workers’ Compensation Law; increase maximum total recovery under to 520 weeks.

01/27 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary AHines

HB 313

Workers’ Compensation Law; require blood tests and autopsies in found dead cases under certain conditions.

01/28 (H) Referred To InsuranceChism

HB 314

Workers’ compensation; increase assessment for the Second Injury Trust Fund.

01/28 (H) Referred To InsuranceChism

HB 461

Workers’ Compensation Law; revise various provisions of.

02/03 (H) Referred To InsuranceChism

HB1011

Workers’ compensation; require emergency hearing upon request of either party.

02/14 (H) Referred To InsuranceWatson

SB2205

Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission; reestablish as special fund agency.

01/29 (S) Referred To AppropriationsFillingane

SB2198

Workers’ Compensation Law; revise various provisions of.

01/29 (S) Referred To InsuranceFillingane

SB2199

Workers’ Compensation Law; require blood tests and autopsies in found-dead cases under certain conditions.

01/29 (S) Referred To InsuranceFillingane

SB2201

Workers’ compensation; increase assessment for the Second Injury Trust Fund.

01/29 (S) Referred To InsuranceFillingane

HEALTH BILLS

HB 102

Health insurance policies; require coverage for certain obesity treatments.

01/24 (H) Referred To Insurance;Public Health and Human ServicesClark

HB 315

Patient Choice Act of 2020; create.

01/28 (H) Referred To InsuranceChism

HB 374

Insurance; require certain consumer information and notice and availability of mediation regarding balance billing.

01/31 (H) Referred To InsuranceDortch

HB 384

State Health Insurance Plan; provide coverage for proton therapy to treat cancer and certain noncancerous tumors.

01/31 (H) Referred To InsuranceBanks

HB 408

Credit for reinsurance; provide requirements for.

02/13 (H) Transmitted To SenateChism

HB 424

Health insurance policies; require coverage for hearing aids and services for children under 21.

02/03 (H) Referred To InsuranceMassengill

HB 468

Mississippi Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Act; revise.

02/11 (H) Title Suff Do Pass Comm SubFord (54th)

HB 471

Pharmacies; reduce time period covered by audit of claims submitted to pharmacy benefit managers.

02/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Public Health and Human ServicesArnold

HB 474

Health insurance carriers; require to cap patient cost for prescriptions for insulin drugs.

02/03 (H) Referred To Insurance;Public Health and Human ServicesArnold

HB 825

Health insurance; require certain policies to provide coverage for physician-prescribed proton beam therapy.

02/13 (H) Referred To Insurance;Public Health and Human ServicesFord (73rd)

HB 837

Health insurance policies; require certain to provide infertility coverage and establish pilot program in State Health Plan.

02/13 (H) Referred To InsuranceMcGee

HB1059

Direct Primary Care Act; revise to Direct Health Care Act to apply to all health care providers.

02/14 (H) Referred To Insurance;Public Health and Human ServicesEubanks

HB1070

State option for healthcare coverage; direct Department of Health and Insurance Department to study and present proposal to Legislature.

02/14 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services;Insurance

HB 79

Oxycontin pills; limit RX to 75 pills per RX unless patient is hospitalized or in nursing home.

01/24 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services;Drug PolicyBanks

HB 80

Hospitals; require to examine persons at ER with sickle cell disease symptoms within four hours after admission.

01/24 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human ServicesBanks

HB 132

Health; State Health Officer shall develop program to close the gap in health status of gender and racial groups.

01/24 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human ServicesHines

HB 197

Chronic Diseases; direct Health Department to establish WISEWOMAN and WISEMAN programs to reduce incidence of.

01/27 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services;AppropriationsHines

HB 209

Medical marijuana; authorize Alcorn State University to enter into MOU for local farmers to grow for out-of-state vendors.

01/27 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human ServicesHines

HB 279

Prohibition on Price Gouging for Essential Drugs Act; create.

01/27 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services;Judiciary ABell (65th)

HB 532

Prescription drugs; require Attorney General to compile certain lists of those essential for treating diabetes and costs of.

02/05 (H) Referred To Drug Policy;Public Health and Human ServicesDortchHB 568

Physical therapists; not required to have prior work experience to work at PPEC center.

02/05 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human ServicesRoberson

HB 606

Mississippi Access to Health Care Act; create.

02/06 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human ServicesCriswell

HB 619

Physical therapy practice laws; revise various provisions of.

02/06 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services;Ways and MeansCurrie

HB 634

Families First Unpaid Leave Time Act; enact to require employers to provide unpaid leave to employees for certain situations.

02/06 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human ServicesSummers

HB 686

Patient’s Right to Informed Health Care Choices Act & prohibitions against deceptive advertising by providers; extend repealers on.

02/06 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human ServicesTurner

HB 688

MS Pharmacy Practice Act; extend repealer on.

02/06 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human ServicesTurner

HB 708

Pharmacy Benefit Prompt Pay Act; revise various provisions of.

02/10 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human ServicesMims

HB 829

Prescription drugs; direct Health Department to establish a wholesale importation program for.

02/13 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human ServicesCurrie

HB 832

Pseudoephedrine; require pharmacies to keep records of over the counter sales of.

02/13 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human ServicesRead

HB1059

Direct Primary Care Act; revise to Direct Health Care Act to apply to all health care providers.

02/14 (H) Referred To Insurance;Public Health and Human ServicesEubanks

SB2172

Health insurance; require coverage for supplies used after surgery to remove bladder or colon.

01/27 (S) Referred To Insurance;Public Health and WelfareHill

SB2228

Health insurance policies; prohibit step therapy requirements for certain prescription drugs to treat stage-four cancer.

01/31 (S) Referred To InsuranceWiggins

SB2268

Health insurance policies; require coverage for hearing aids and services for children under 21.

01/31 (S) Referred To InsuranceChism

SB2302

Mississippi First Responders Health and Safety Act; provide payments for benefits and insurance premiums.

02/12 (S) DR – TSDPCS: IN To ACMichel

SB2126

Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act; create.

01/23 (S) Referred To Public Health and Welfare;Judiciary, Division ATurner-Ford

SB2222

Vaccinations; disclose information statements upon request and create medical exemption.

01/31 (S) Referred To Public Health and Welfare;Judiciary, Division AHill

SB2308

Patient’s Right to Informed Health Care Choices Act; extend repealers relating to.

02/07 (S) Referred To Public Health and Welfare

SB2310

Mississippi Pharmacy Practice Act; extend repealer on.

02/07 (S) Referred To Public Health and WelfareBryan

SB2402

Pharmacists; revise regulation of pharmacy benefit managers.

02/13 (S) Referred To Public Health and WelfareParks

SB2492

Physical therapy practice laws; revise various provisions of.

02/14 (S) Referred To Public Health and WelfareBlackwell

SB2497

Marijuana; legalize.

02/14 (S) Referred To Public Health and Welfare;Judiciary, Division BSimmons (12th)

SB2498

Marijuana; allow medical use by seriously ill patients, including service-connected PTSD.

02/14 (S) Referred To Public Health and Welfare;Judiciary, Division BSimmons (12th)

GENERAL AND OTHER INSURANCE BILLS

HB 728

Liability insurance policies; must include provision that insolvency or bankruptcy of insured does not release insurer from payment of damages during policy.

02/10 (H) Referred To Insurance;Judiciary AHarness

HB 97

Sell of urine; prohibit and prescribe criminal penalties for violation of.

01/24 (H) Referred To Judiciary BBain

SB2289

Income tax; authorize a credit for employers who pay the cost of a qualified wellness program.

02/07 (S) Referred To Finance;Accountability, Efficiency, TransparencyFillingane

SB2192

Urine; create the crime of selling or tampering with urine.

01/29 (S) Referred To Judiciary, Division BMcCaughn

Bills are still being being written and introduced by legislators. Watch this section in future updates for links to important legislation.


 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