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Federal insurance regulations are few and far between thanks to eras of history confirming that insurance regulation belongs to the states. But in every session, bold members of Congress introduce ambitious bills to do just that. Let’s take a look at some of the suggested bills and sort out what matters and what’s just big talk but a little game.
according to Congress.gov, in the 117th Congress, we have over 1,500 bills introduced in the Senate or the House that affect insurance regulationeither directly through regulating things like health insurance or the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), or indirectly like proposals to give tax credits to homeowners or businesses that buy certain insurance coverage.
But, If only 4 percent of bills became lawso a lot of those bills are just noise (or noise, or signals, or whatever you like to call it because who doesn’t like getting a good picture in Congress).
By the Numbers – Insurance Legislation
- 894 adjacent insurance bills have been submitted to the US House of Representatives this session
- 610 submitted to the US Senate
- 12 Bills were enacted either in their original form or by incorporation into other larger bills
- To give you an idea of how many bills reach the state of law: 1,504 . submitted
- 137 Under consideration by the Committee
- 83 I made him in regard to the word
- 78 passed one room
- 17 passed both houses
- 8 subject to decision
- 13 arrive at the president’s office to light up Pinocchio and become a real law
While it is clear that not every bill presented will fit into the legal framework of a country, the sheer volume of legal considerations associated with insurance should re-convince any industry minds of the importance and prevalence of insurance.
What US insurance bills became law in the 2021-2022 congressional session?
For the 177th Congress, many of the laws passed in 2021 are already in effect, or will take effect soon, so we’ve rounded up the pieces about insurance and what they’ve done:
- Technical Correction to the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019 It did exactly what its name says by making technical corrections to the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019
- Department of Veterans Affairs Expired Powers Act 2021 Dental insurance plans authority expanded and temporary expansions extended to pay for veterans’ medical travel needs
- Extension of the law on government funding and provision of emergency assistance Temporarily expanded funding for programs such as the National Flood Insurance Program and the Uninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, as well as Medicare funds
- US Bailout Act of 2021 Extended unemployment insurance funds, children’s health insurance funds, and funds to maintain homeowner insurance for landlords and renters, among others (and yes, for the sake of brevity, it covers “other things”…a lot)
- PAWS Veterans Treatment Act Create a VA pilot program to provide veterans with PTSD access to service dogs for treatment, as well as access to veterinary insurance benefits for their service dogs
- The Protection of Mothers Who Served Act 2021 Provides supplemental funding for the care and research of veterans with children, before, during and after pregnancy and childbirth, and necessarily calls for coordination with private insurance companies to collect data
- Prevent blanket direct spending cuts Filled with funding periods in order to … prevent comprehensive direct cuts to spending, including health insurance and other insurance-related programs
- The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act It was huge – at 1,039 pages it specified funding for different programs and imposed certain studies and reports and talked about when the cost of insurance should be included in the reports, or when it should be excluded from the costs of the added programs; sets standards for cars and, accordingly, their insurance companies; included evidence of insurance authorization for emergency public transportation grants; She financed the National Flood Insurance Fund; And it gave directions to states on what to do with unused unemployment insurance funds (again, that’s a lot)
- National Defense Authorization Law for Fiscal Year 2022 On 910 pages, from insurance waivers for classified projects to health care coverage for dependent enlisted personnel, you better believe that national defense funding intersects with insurance
- Extension of the government funding law Passed in late 2021, this law extended federal funding or the authority of several departments and agencies including some Medicare improvement funding through February 18, 2022, but without Congress having to agree on an entire budget.
- More additional government funding lawwhich passed February 7, 2022, did something a lot like the Additional Government Funding Act, but extended it further (the Medicare Improvement Funding was again part of the immediate legal action)
- The Protection of Medicare and American Farmers Act from the Withholding Reductions Act Extending Funding Again for Programs Like Medicare Improvements and Rural Access to Medicinal Services We can only guess that the name change was to avoid being called the Supplemental Continuing Government Funding Act.
- Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022which was signed into law on March 15, 2022, and provides funding for insurance programs such as NFIP, as well as aid to Ukraine
In addition to these laws, there are two concurrent resolutions adopted by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, which means that there is something to be agreed upon that does not need presidential assent, but they are not laws and have no executive authority. Essentially, the two simultaneous resolutions are hypothetical agreements on the government’s budget levels through 2030 and 2031. But, again, something has no executive authority.
Other topics to watch
Although we cannot predict with any certainty which laws will pass and which will doom them to hopeless failure, it is worth considering the issues that preoccupy Congress and the nation, and how the insurance landscape may be affected by changes.
Insurance against floods, disasters and climate change
there Federal interest in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), so it is not surprising that there is a huge drive to maintain the program’s ability to solve the problem and provide clarity to participants. More than 110 invoices specifically refer to NFIP, so there’s a zero chance we’ll see more program changes.
with Concerns and activism mount about climate change, pressure for NFIP doubles And insurance for other disasters that come under greater pressure each year from events such as wildfires.
Health insurance and the Affordable Care Act
Federal government Fought in health insurance regulation with the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, also known as Obamacare. Adjustments to the ACA are usually suggested, such as fixes that try to stop sudden billing from out-of-network providers who didn’t realize they were out-of-network (eg, I went to the emergency room of an in-network hospital, and one of the doctors present was actually on contract with an out-of-network company So, surprise him! Your bill is huge!). In addition, Medicare and its coverage of drugs and services are constantly subject to revisions as new products hit the market and registrations for newborns.
Federal interest in veterans’ access to Medicare is also driving policy proposals, and as we’ve seen in the legislation already passed so far in the 2021-2022 hearing, innovations to help veterans get care — whether that’s through Tricare or private insurance companies. It has broader support than other measures.
Current events and federal insurance regulations
Cybercrime: With the intensification of events in Ukraine and Russia, Russian hackers have taken a heavy blow to the technological infrastructures of companies and the government. Even before the conflict, there was Federal interest in preempting cyberattacksbut now cybersecurity and cybersecurity are taking on a higher legislative priority.
Pandemic: There are more than a few bills aimed at helping businesses and ensuring public health or preventing health care discrimination based on vaccine status… Regardless of the political outlook, there is no denying that the coronavirus will continue to shape both insurance and federal regulations.
Inequality: While growing economic inequality has already been a concern in America, the pandemic and other recent events have accelerated inequality and concern about it. Various factions in Congress have many borderline approaches to insurance to help those struggling to find housing and child care, but there’s no word yet on whether enough voting members can set aside their differences to actually get people to help.
The majority of these will never become laws, and the federal government is only a small part of the regulations you may have to follow. So, while you can’t completely ignore Congress (can we) it is important that you keep an eye on your local jurisdictions and state government.
We can’t do anything about Congress, but we can help carriers, agencies, public agency management, and insurance companies comply with state insurance product licensing and compliance regulations. Check out how with today’s AgentSync offer.
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