LATEST PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS
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2023 Legislative Update
The complete text of recently passed legislation can be found at: https://wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2023 . All new laws have an effective date of July 1, 2023, unless otherwise indicated.
1. HB0052-HEA No. 0087-Revisor’s bill
A correction was made to Wyo. Stat. Ann. §26-35-101 to replace the word “insured” with “insurer”.
2. HB096-HEA No. 0045-Chapter No. 85-Transfer on Death Deed-insurance coverage
Allows the continuance of property insurance coverage that is currently in force at the time of death, to transfer and extend to the designated grantee beneficiary for a period up to 60 days following the transfer of title.
3. HB118- HEA No. 0060-Chapter No. 133-Volunteer Firefighter Pension-funding
This act clarifies the distribution of the gross premium tax on fire insurance premiums between the volunteer firefighter, EMT and search and rescue pension account and the Fire A legislative reserve account. It also appropriated additional funds to the pension account.
4. HB0140-HEA No. 0068-Chapter No. 132-Mental Health Care Access-Collaborative Care Model
Requires insurance plans that offer mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits to provide reimbursement for benefits that are delivered through the psychiatric Collaborative Care Model as defined by the American Medical Association. The reimbursement would not apply to any policy, contract or services that would require the State of Wyoming to defray the costs.
5. HB165-HEA No. 0043-Chapter No. 93-Living Organ Donor Protection
No individual or group life insurance policy or long-term care policy shall deny, reduce, limit or cancel coverage to a person based on the person’s status as a living organ donor. It also amends the definition of “covered person” and provides a definition of “living organ donor”.
6. SF0005-SEA No. 0016-Chapter No. 31-Medical Malpractice Statutory Update
Allows the Insurance Commissioner discretion in direct reporting of medical malpractice claims. Should the Commissioner want a direct report, the Commissioner will give three (3) months notice.
7. SF0006-CSEA No. 0017-Chapter No. 32-Insurance Rebating Modernization
Modernizes the insurance code to allow insurers or producers to offer non-cash gifts, items, or services with the connection of marketing, sale, purchase, or retention of policies. Yearly cap on these gifts, items, or services is $100 or 5% of the written or quoted premium, not to exceed $1,000. Raffles may be conducted in accordance with Wyoming state gaming laws. Value of raffled items may not exceed $100 per raffle. Inducement prohibitions will still apply for all offerings. Also allows insurers to offer products or services to mitigate loss and/or reduce claim costs. Insurers must have evidence that the product or service will do what is intended. If evidence is not yet available, a pilot program may be filed with the Department.
8. SF0017-SEA No. 0013-Chapter No. 29-Off-road recreational vehicles-safety and insurance
This act created new equipment and liability insurance requirements for certain off-road recreational vehicles, by requiring certain equipment and liability insurance with limits no less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00). It also created an exception for off-road recreational vehicles used for agricultural operations.
9. SF0151-SEA No. 90-Chapter No. 189-Wyoming Prescription Drug Transparency Act
This Act prohibits pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) to retroactively deny or reduce reimbursement for a covered pharmacy claim. The act also requires the PBMs to provide up to date and reliable contact information to pharmacies for the purpose of appeals and to file claims in electronic batch formats. Pharmacies are also authorized to deny services if they will be paid less than the pharmacy acquisition cost for providing those services. Finally, the act authorized one position within the Department of Insurance and appropriated one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000.00) for the salary and benefits of the position. In addition, one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) is appropriated to the Department of Insurance to implement the act. Both appropriated amounts are from the general fund.
Administrative Rules Update
Rules recently changed
1. Chapter 4 Third-Party Administrators. Changes were made to Chapter 4 of the Department regulations regarding the regulation of Third Party Administrators (TPAs). Many of the changes made to Chapter 4 were made to bring the language into conformity with the NAIC model language. Changes were also made to clarify that the regulation applies to TPAs working for Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs), and not just to TPAs working for insurers. Additional changes were made regarding the licensing requirements for TPAs, including but not limited to changes to the deadline for providing certain financial documents, adding the requirement that TPAs provide proof of financial solvency, and increasing the amount of surety bond required. The current version of Chapter 4 was effective as of November 2, 2022, and is available on the Wyoming Secretary of State website, https://rules.wyo.gov/.
2. Chapter 10 Coordination of Benefits. The Department promulgated changes to Chapter 10 primarily to bring the regulation into conformity with the NAIC model regulation, including changing the name of the regulation. Specifically, the title of the regulation was changed from Use of Overinsurance: Reduction of Benefit Provisions Group Disability, to Coordination of Benefits. Changes were also made to remove unnecessary language in the regulation. The current version of Chapter 10 was effective as of January 26, 2023 and is available on the Wyoming Secretary of State website, https://rules.wyo.gov/
3. Chapter 20 Regulation Governing Continuing Education. The Department promulgated changes to Chapter 20 of its regulations regarding continuing education requirements for producers in part due to statutory changes. Specifically, Enrolled Act 46 (HB0062) made statutory changes to who pays for fees associated with continuing education, provided for a definition of “continuing education provider,” and identified certain responsibilities of a continuing education provider. Some of the changes to Chapter 20 were to make the regulation consistent with these statutory changes. Additional changes included but were not limited to allowing for electronic attendance at classes and self-study programs, and to allow producers to carry forward CE credits earned in excess of the minimum amount required. The current version of Chapter 20 was effective October 3, 2022 and is available on the Wyoming Secretary of State website, https://rules.wyo.gov/
Proposed changes to regulations
1. Chapter 28: Regulation Governing Perpetual Care Trust Funds for Privately Owned Cemeteries. Changes were promulgated to Chapter 28 to allow for privately owned cemeteries that contract with municipalities or cemetery districts for the perpetual care of the cemetery to be exempt from certain portions of the regulation. The Department would continue to exercise oversight of the perpetual care funds, but on a more limited basis, so long as the perpetual care contract with the municipality or cemetery district was in place. Public comment has closed on the proposed changes to this regulation and we await final approval from the Governor. Additional information is available regarding the proposed changes to this regulation can be found at the Wyoming Secretary of State website, https://rules.wyo.gov/
2. Chapters 54 Privacy of Consumer Financial & Health Information and 55 Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information. Changes were promulgated to these regulations to combine the language of the two rules into the text of Chapter 54, and then repeal Chapter 55. Additional changes were made to bring the regulation into compliance with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act with respect to the annual privacy notices, and to conform the language with the NAIC model regulation. Public comment has closed on the proposed changes to these regulations and we await final approval from the Governor. Additional information is available regarding the proposed changes to these regulations at the Wyoming Secretary of State website, https://rules.wyo.gov/
3. Chapter 64 Regulation Governing Suitability in Annuity Transactions. The Department promulgated changes to Chapter 64 of its regulations to align with the wording of the NAIC model regulation, and consistent with federal regulations as well. Included in these proposed changes were the adoption of the best interest standard for annuity transactions, and additional continuing education (CE) requirements for all producers selling variable annuities. As currently proposed, producers must be compliant with the updated CE requirements within six (6) months of the effective date of the regulation. The effective date of the regulation will be ninety (90) days after the regulation is filed with the Secretary of State. CE courses are currently available for any producer who wishes to attend the additional required CE in anticipation of the effective date of the regulation. Public comment has closed on the proposed changes to this regulation and we await final approval from the Governor. Additional information is available regarding the proposed changes to this regulation at the Wyoming Secretary of State website, https://rules.wyo.gov/
The Department is continuing to update its existing rules and regulations and will be implementing new regulations as required by recent legislation. Please continue to monitor the Department’s administrative rules updates through the Secretary of State’s website. If you have any questions regarding how to monitor regulatory updates through the Secretary of State website, please contact the Secretary of State’s office or the Department of Insurance.
Memo Regarding Updates to Continuing Education Regulations
There are new CE rules that will take effect January 1, 2023 as a result of our updates to Chapter 20 of the Wyoming Insurance Regulations. The biggest changes are the new carry-over rules and the new rules on how often licensees may receive credit for taking the same class.
Carry over credits are meant to help licensees receive credit for taking more than the required 24 hours of continuing education in a licensing period. This will only apply to excess hours applied within 120 days of license renewal, and only general credits will be applied to carry forward hours. For example, a licensee’s license renews on October 31, 2023. They have completed all required hours by January 1, 2023, but there are still some classes that they will attend throughout the year. They take a spring crop insurance update worth 6 hours in March, get 4 hours of standard CE and 3 hours of ethics at an industry convention in June, and take a cyber insurance class worth 4 hours in August. Of the 17 hours of excess hours they took, only the 4 hours from the cyber insurance class will carry forward, as the rest were taken more than 120 days before their renewal at the end of October.
The other new rule is that licensees may not receive credit for the same course more than once every 48 months. This will affect not only future classes, but also apply to classes that have already taken. For example, if a licensee took "Protecting Agents and Insureds from E&O Claims" in October of 2021, they will not be able to receive credit for that course again until November of 2025. This will be tracked by course number. If they wanted to take another E&O class they would have to choose a different course (such as E&O Prevention vs. Mitigation). Both are 4 credit hour classes offered by the same provider, but because the regulations say they can't receive credit more than once every 48 months they would want to take the class that they will receive credit for. That's not to say they CAN'T take a class again if they found the material useful, but they will not be able to receive credit again until 48 months later.
As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Department.
Memo Regarding New Annuity Training Requirements
The Wyoming Department of Insurance is proposing updates to Insurance Regulation Chapter 64: Regulation Governing Suitability in Annuity Transactions. These updates adopt the best interest standards for annuity sales based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model. The following language outlines the proposed training requirements:
(b) One time training course.
(i) A producer who engages in the sale of annuity products shall:
(A) Complete a one-time four (4) credit training course approved by the department of insurance and provided by the department of insurance-approved education provider.
(vi) A producer who has completed an annuity training course approved by the department of insurance prior to January 1, 2023 shall, within six (6) months after January 1, 2023, complete either:
(A) A new four (4) credit training course approved by the department of insurance after January 1, 2023; or
(B) An additional one-time one (1) credit training course approved by the department of insurance and provided by the department of insurance-approved education provider on appropriate sales practices, replacement and disclosure requirements under this amended regulation.
The intended effective dates of these changes are January 1, 2023.
For additional information, please contact the Department via email at email@example.com or through the Contact Us page.
The mission of this agency is to enforce the insurance laws and regulations of the State impartially, honestly, and expeditiously; to serve the consumer of insurance; to encourage a healthy insurance marketplace; and to promote change to better serve the public interest. To this end, the highest ethical, professional, and work quality standards will be exercised in all formal and informal relationships with individuals, agencies, and companies affected by the policies and actions of the department. It is our commitment to be the best insurance regulatory agency in the United States.