Fired up by the Financial Stability Board's recent call for greater federal oversight of insurers, a group of state legislators is considering formally requesting that all U.S. representatives involved in international insurance policy discussions stand behind the positions taken by state regulators.
After five years of development, newly released final regulations meant to ensure equal insurance coverage of mental and physical illnesses wipe out important uncertainties and close notable loopholes, but experts say it will take years of real-world experience before all the provisions are understood. Here, five highlights from the 200 pages of final rules.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris said Thursday she has shut down 10 private health insurance websites masquerading as the official state-run online insurance marketplace for consumers to enroll in plans under the Affordable Care Act.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a Republican-sponsored bill allowing insurers to continue selling policies that do not comply with Affordable Care Act mandates for another year, ignoring the Obama administration’s promise that it would veto the legislation.
Fairholme Capital Management LLC's plan to buy Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's insurance businesses will likely turn out to be more symbolic gesture than successful deal, experts say, but the hedge fund's bold move could increase interest in privatization of the entities and potentially encourage other bidders to join the fray.
A bipartisan bill introduced Thursday would repeal the Affordable Care Act's “belly button tax,” marking Capitol Hill's latest response to the health care law as its real-world impact becomes clearer.
The suit challenging Pennsylvania’s law banning same-sex marriage cleared a major hurdle Friday, after a federal judge in Harrisburg ruled that significant changes in due process and equal protection jurisprudence in the last 40 years barred him from granting motions aimed at having the complaint dismissed.
Despite its protests, the health insurance industry won’t lose its shirt under the Obama administration’s decision to allow the renewal of policies being canceled under the Affordable Care Act, according to experts who say the law’s safeguards against insurer losses will come to the rescue if online marketplaces end up with fewer healthy customers.
Republican senators urged the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday to scrap a plan exempting unions from an Affordable Care Act fee that will be levied against businesses, charities and faith-based organizations for each employee whose health insurance they cover.
European policymakers said Thursday they had struck a breakthrough deal that will allow Solvency II, a long-stalled overhaul of insurance regulation in the European Union, to take effect at the beginning of 2016.
Besieged with criticism, President Barack Obama on Thursday said he is ordering a regulatory fix that will allow Americans to temporarily keep insurance policies that otherwise would have been scrapped because they don't meet Affordable Care Act standards.
To advocates of mental health awareness, Affordable Care Act regulations published Wednesday rank among the most welcomed pieces of law in U.S. history. But to lawyers, they reveal the climate in which looming battles will be fought over preemption and the states’ role in enforcement.
The Federal Insurance Office delivered one of its overdue reports last week, concluding that a section of the Dodd-Frank Act that addressed reinsurance regulation hasn't hindered state regulators' efforts to collect financial information on reinsurers.
Obama administration officials who led development of the Affordable Care Act’s troubled marketplace for health insurance defended their work on Wednesday, telling a congressional panel they acted without interference from the White House and that the website is making great strides.
About 100,000 Americans found private health insurance and 400,000 qualified for Medicaid during the first month of the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplaces, the Obama administration said Wednesday, chalking up the sluggish pace in part to technical woes.
A reinsurance industry executive who testified at a Wednesday hearing urged Congress to tinker with the federal backstop for federal insurance so the private sector could gradually shoulder more responsibility for conventional terrorism risks, while others argued the soon-to-expire program should be left as is.
The governors of both Florida and Alabama on Monday backed Mississippi in its suit against the U.S. government over rate hikes on policies backed by the National Flood Insurance Program, saying the move could wreck the recovering housing markets in both states.
The Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday will hand a victory to mental health awareness advocates when it publishes rules on the treatment of mental health care under the Affordable Care Act.
State insurance commissioners on Friday asked for input on whether they should consider setting guidelines for handling unclaimed death benefits, heeding calls for uniformity from insurers that have paid steep sums to settle with regulators over their use of the Social Security Administration's Death Master File database.
The Seventh Circuit on Friday found that two separate for-profit companies and their owners can invoke the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to protect them from having to pay for health insurance that provides employees with access to contraception.
While the questions in Bakoss v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London were plainly important and the circuit splits were clear, the issues may well have been too vexing for the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservatives to support taking the case. It is, however, simply a matter of time before these issues will demand the court’s resolution once again, says Robert Loeb of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.
The International Association of Insurance Supervisors' recently revised common framework, which would govern prudential regulation of insurers more generally, potentially raises several questions and issues for insurers affiliated with banks or regulated as systematically important financial institutions, says Dan Rabinowitz of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP.
While the Fifth Circuit's recent decision in TMM Investments Ltd. v. Ohio Casualty Insurance Co. is certainly pro-appraisal, the development of a significant body of appraisal case law in Texas may also be viewed as a positive development for appraisal more generally, says Kristin Suga Heres of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.
A recently passed California bill on employee recovery periods, during which a worker cools down to prevent heat illness, gives the plaintiffs' bar a new toy, and messy litigation over an employer's failure to provide such periods is sure to follow. Something to monitor is how employment practices liability insurance will respond to recovery-period claims, says Joseph Balice of Ezra Brutzkus Gubner LLP.
Relying on advances in technology that increase efficiency allowed firms during the past few years to reduce the ratio of lawyers to legal assistants from as low as 1-1 to as much as a 4-1. Now is not the time to stress about negative publicity that often results from staff layoffs. Your attention to your bottom line easily translates into an appropriate concern for your clients’ bottom lines, says Allan Colman of The Closers Group.
The California Court of Appeal's recent decision in Thrifty Payless Inc. v. The Americana at Brand LLC, a dispute over a lease and insurance agreement for commercial space, reinforces the trend in California courts to favor a strong policy that claims of fraud should not be barred simply because an integration clause exists, say Andrew Howard and Brian Lauter of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.
Since the Texas Supreme Court rendered its opinion in State Farm Lloyds v. Johnson in 2009, hundreds of trial and appellate court pleadings have been filed seeking guidance and clarification as to the proper scope of appraisal post-Johnson — with no apparent definitive answer in sight, as illustrated by In re Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, says Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.
When is it safe to rely on the research of a junior associate? You may have seen this coming, but it is almost never entirely safe. The law is simply too riddled with dangerous twists and turns that are hard to spot. And these are not traps that can be avoided with common sense. Indeed, attorneys who follow what is normally considered the sensible path of trusting in their judgment of what is reasonable are apt to be betrayed by the law, says Andrew Jarzyna of Ulmer & Berne LLP.
As a result of recent changes in the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act, it makes sense for hospitals, health systems and companies to “bring home” their captive insurance companies and risk-retention groups, say attorneys with Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.
Though leaving a number of questions unanswered, the New Jersey Supreme Court's recent decision in Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance v. N.J. Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association has significant implications for not just policyholders but also insurers, says attorneys with Coughlin Duffy LLP.