Posts by: Britney Han

Medicare Fraud Prevention Week: Join the Oklahoma Insurance Department for the Summer Senior Fraud Live Events This Summer

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For Immediate Release:
June 1, 2022

Medicare Fraud Prevention Week:
Join the Oklahoma Insurance Department for the Summer Senior Fraud Live Events This Summer

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – In conjunction with the first national Medicare Fraud Prevention Week, the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s (OID) Medicare Assistance Program (MAP) is inviting Medicare beneficiaries to the Summer Senior Fraud Live Events on June 23 and July 14. OID has partnered with MAP, the Oklahoma Social Security Administration, the Oklahoma Department of Securities, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, AARP Oklahoma and the National Insurance Crime Bureau to educate and empower Oklahomans in the fight against fraud targeting senior citizens.

“We’re excited to bring back these in-person events and continue to work with our partners to help Oklahomans protect themselves from fraud,” Director of the MAP division Ray Walker said. “Educational events like this will help individuals stay safe and protect the Medicare program for generations to come.”

The Summer Senior Fraud Live Events, funded in part by the SMP grant through the Administration for Community Living, will be held at the OID’s Oklahoma City office. These in-person events will consist of two one-day sessions led by speakers with diverse areas of expertise such as state agency directors, Medicare professionals and fraud prevention professionals. The topics include Medicare and healthcare fraud, contractor fraud, cyber scams, investment fraud and securities fraud. These events are free for senior adults and include breakfast. Registration is required because of limited capacity. To register, visit oid.ok.gov/summerseniorfraud/.

The Medicare Fraud Prevention Week, held June 5-11, kicks off on June 5, or “6-5,” because most people become eligible for Medicare when they turn 65 years old. Learn more about Medicare Fraud Prevention Week at www.smpresource.org

If you have questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at www.oid.ok.gov.

 

For more information, contact:

Liz Heigle
405-522-0683
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov

Mulready Says Get Ready Part III: After the Storm

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For Immediate Release:
May 11, 2022

Mulready Says Get Ready Part III:
After the Storm 

By Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready  

 

Recovering from a disaster can be challenging and stressful. Most natural disasters happen unexpectedly and can significantly impact your mental and physical health. Fortunately, the state of Oklahoma has excellent disaster assistance resources. Knowing how to access them makes the recovery process faster and less stressful. This Mulready Says Get Ready Part III: After the Storm offers some general advice on steps to take after disaster strikes. Here are three important post-disaster steps to remember: 

  1. Take care of yourself and your family.
  • Your first concern after a disaster is your family’s health and safety. Check for injuries and seek medical help for any injured family members. 
  • If the storm destroyed your home, business or personal property, know that cleaning up and repairing the damage can be physically, mentally and financially challenging. 
  • Let your local officials know of any damages you may have and what immediate assistance you may need such as food and shelter. You can report flooding and storm damages at damage.ok.gov.
  • For non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day. 
  1. Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible.
  • Document all your damages before you clean up. Take photos or videos and make a list. Check out our free Home Inventory Checklist if you haven’t created a home inventory. 
  • Save all your receipts for post-damage repair and clean-up. 
  • Contact your insurance agent to start the claims process as soon as possible. 
  • Work with your adjuster and complete proof of loss to support your claim. 
  1. Be aware of post-disaster fraud and scams.
  • DO NOT give any personal information such as Social Security or bank account numbers unless you are sure it is safe. Local officials, state and federal workers like FEMA inspectors never need this information to provide services. 
  • Watch out for people going door-to-door or calling homeowners claiming to be building contractors. These could be scam artists, especially if they ask for financial information. 
  • Report suspicious activity to local authorities and the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721. You can also contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit at fraudstoppers@oid.ok.gov or 1-800-522-0071. 

To help Oklahomans prepare for this storm season, I’ve released the three-part column series—Mulready Says Get Ready: Before, During and After the Storm. This comprehensive series will provide general preparedness tips for before, during and after disasters. Visit www.oid.ok.gov/news to check out Part I: Before the Storm and Part II: During the Storm columns. Also, be sure to listen to our Mulready Minutes Podcast Episode 10: the Preparedness Movement Part I & 2 at www.oid.ok.gov/podcast to learn how to Get Ready for severe weather. For more disaster preparedness resources: www.oid.ok.gov/getready

If you have questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at www.oid.ok.gov

 

Questions or comments should be directed to
Communications Director, Liz Heigle
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov | (405) 819-2221

Mulready Says Get Ready Part II: During the Storm

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For Immediate Release:
April 26, 2022

Mulready Says Get Ready Part II: During the Storm

By Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready  

 

When it comes to severe weather, proper preparation and knowing what to do in certain situations can save you and your family’s lives. That’s why I’m encouraging Oklahomans to Get Ready for when—not if—the next disaster happens. Storms in Oklahoma often occur without warning, not leaving you enough time to prepare. Here are three important steps you can take to stay safe during the storm: 

  1. Take Shelter Immediately
  • Go to the basement or storm shelter. Put your family emergency plan into action and check your go-bag in case you must leave in a hurry. 
  • If you do not have a basement or storm shelter, go to the room at the lowest level in the home (i.e., hallway or bathroom), away from windows and corners where objects tend to collect. Cover yourself with a heavy object such as a mattress or sleeping bag to protect you from broken glass or flying debris. 
  • Stay in place until you are sure the storm has passed. 
  1. Stay Weather Informed
  • Stay informed on weather updates. Monitor the storm’s progress and listen for warnings from local officials. 
  • Power outages are highly possible in severe weather. Unplug appliances that are not necessary for obtaining weather updates. Use phones only in an emergency. 
  • Have multiple sources to stay informed of the evolving conditions—TV and radio, emergency notifications via mobile devices, NOAA Weather Radio, etc. Make sure to have at least one source that does not require electricity. 
  1. Plan to Evacuate If Necessary
  • Before leaving your home or driving anywhere, listen carefully to local weather experts and government officials who will be coordinating evacuation plans.
  • Go to higher ground if flash flooding or flooding is possible. 
  • DO NOT drive into high water. Six inches of water will wash away a person and two feet of water will wash away a car.  
  • Don’t forget the footwear. It is dangerous to walk outside barefoot because glass and other debris are everywhere during a storm.

To help Oklahomans prepare for this storm season, I’m releasing the three-part column series—Mulready Says Get Ready: Before, During and After the Storm. This comprehensive series will provide general preparedness tips for before, during and after disasters. Visit www.oid.ok.gov/news to check out Part I: Before the Storm. In the next series, I’ll share detailed information on the insurance claim process and how to recover quickly after disasters. Please stay tuned and visit www.oid.ok.gov/getready for more information on how to Get Ready

If you have questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at www.oid.ok.gov

 

Questions or comments should be directed to
Communications Director, Liz Heigle
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov | (405) 819-2221

BULLETIN NO. 3-2022

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BULLETIN NO. 3-2022

 

To: ALL PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURERS LICENSED IN OKLAHOMA ALL RATING AND ADVISORY ORGANIZATIONS ATTENTION: STATE FILING DIVISION
Re: OKLAHOMA MARKET ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (OK-MAP) ANNUAL ASSESSMENT
From: GLEN MULREADY, INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
Date: April 25, 2022

 

PURPOSE OF THIS BULLETIN

The Oklahoma Market Assistance Program (OK-MAP) Plan of Operation and the Oklahoma Insurance Code allow the program to collect an assessment from all “member” insurers in the State of Oklahoma. The purpose of the assessment is to help fund the program so that it may continue its efforts in assisting Oklahoma consumers in finding homeowners insurance. The amount of the assessment is $150 and all member insurers will receive an invoice for that amount during the first week of May 2022.

“Member” means all property and casualty insurers licensed in the State of Oklahoma or writing homeowners’ or liability insurance in the state.

36 O.S. § 6422 requires OK-MAP members to participate in all assessments and writings of the program. The statute also allows for imposition of a penalty against members who fail to pay the assessment, including revocation of an insurer’s certificate of authority and a fine of up to $5,000.

The assessment is due on September 1, 2022. Please remit payment to the following address:

Oklahoma Market Assistance Program
PO Box 13488
Oklahoma City, OK 73113

Please do not send payment to the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

Additional information regarding OK-MAP is available online at www.mapsprogram.com.

 

Questions applicable to this bulletin should be directed to:

Marletta Bruner, Rate and Form Division, at Marletta.Bruner@oid.ok.gov;

Cuc Nguyen, Rate and Form Division, at Cuc.Nguyen@oid.ok.gov; or

Bo Debose, Legal Division, at Bo.Debose@oid.ok.gov

Oklahoma Insurance Department Announces Inaugural Captive & Insurance Business Transfer Conference in August

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For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2022

Oklahoma Insurance Department Announces Inaugural Captive & Insurance Business Transfer Conference in August

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Risk managers, business owners, regulators, financial executives and insurance professionals are invited to attend the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s (OID) first Captive & Insurance Business Transfer (IBT) Conference in Oklahoma City. The event will be held at the Omni Oklahoma City Hotel on August 24-25. This two-day conference will provide in-depth educational sessions on Captive Insurance and IBTs.

The 2022 Oklahoma Captive & IBT Conference will address new and emerging risks facing companies and organizations worldwide. This conference will demonstrate how captives can offer solutions that may not be available in the traditional insurance marketplace. Moreover, attendees can learn how to resolve run-off and discontinued books of insurance business through an IBT. Ten hours of Continuing Education credit will also be available at the conference.

“With Oklahoma’s expansive IBT law and the OID’s supportive, efficient captive regulatory platform, companies of various industries across the country recognize Oklahoma as a highly competitive jurisdiction,” Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready said. “It is a great opportunity to educate stakeholders on the benefits of Captive Insurance and IBTs. I believe a conference like this will help Oklahoma continue to be the hub for these two innovative tools.”

Registration will open on May 1, 2022. For more information, visit www.oid.ok.gov/CIBTC/. Follow OID and #OKCIBTC on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to stay informed about the event.

 

Questions or comments should be directed to
Communications Director, Liz Heigle
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov | (405) 819-2221

Bulletin 2-2022 (Extension of Non-Enforcement (Transitional) Policies through 2023 and Later Benefit Years)

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BULLETIN NO. 2-2022

 

To: All Health Insurance Companies and Health Maintenance Organizations
Re: Extension of Non-Enforcement (Transitional) Policies through 2023 and Later Benefit Years
From: Glen Mulready, Insurance Commissioner
Date: April 22, 2022

 

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform all licensed health insurance issuers in Oklahoma of the requirements set forth by the Oklahoma Insurance Department (the “Department”) as they relate to the bulletin released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) on March 23, 2022, regarding an extension of the non-enforcement of Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) compliance with respect to certain policies.

CMS previously issued guidance stating that with state regulator authorization, individual and small group health insurance issuers could choose to continue certain coverages that would otherwise be canceled under the ACA without being considered out of compliance with market reforms. In its bulletin dated March 23, 2022, CMS announced it is extending its non-enforcement policy to policy years beginning after October 1, 2022.  Accordingly, the Department is permitting issuers that have renewed certain non-grandfathered coverage under the non-enforcement policy continually since 2014 in the small group and individual markets to renew such coverage for a policy year starting after October 1, 2022.  The extended non-enforcement policy will remain in effect until CMS announces that coverage renewed under the policy must come into compliance with the provisions of the ACA.

Health insurance issuers that renew policies under the extended transitional policy must provide the required notice to affected individuals and small businesses. The CMS bulletin and required notices are available at:  https://www.cms.gov/files/document/extension-limited-non-enforcement-policy-through-calendar-year-2023-and-later-benefit-years.pdf.

 

Questions or comments applicable to this bulletin should be directed to Mike Rhoads at Mike.Rhoads@oid.ok.gov, Molly Clinkscales at Molly.Clinkscales@oid.ok.gov, and/or the Oklahoma Insurance Department, 400 NE 50th St. Oklahoma City, OK 73105.  

Court Affirms Pharmacy Benefit Manager Regulation for Oklahoma Insurance Department

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For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2022

Court Affirms Pharmacy Benefit Manager Regulation for Oklahoma Insurance Department

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma ruled largely in favor of Oklahoma and Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready in PCMA v. Mulready, upholding most of Oklahoma’s Patient’s Right to Pharmacy Choice Act against a federal preemption challenge. This is a significant decision for the Oklahoma Insurance Department as it affirms that the Department can enforce the Act against Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs), especially in regard to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) insurance plans.

“This court ruling will help increase transparency for pharmacists and patients and broaden the path forward for our state’s health care cost control efforts,” Mulready said. “We will continue to work hard to ensure companies fully comply with our PBM laws to protect consumers and other businesses.”

In October 2019, PCMA, a trade association of PBMs, sued to enjoin enforcement of the Patient’s Right to Pharmacy Choice Act. Initially, the litigation prevented the Insurance Department from enforcing the Act. After several legal hurdles, Commissioner Mulready was able to proceed with enforcement in September 2020. Three months later, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld an Arkansas PBM law in Rutledge v. PCMA, explaining that ERISA is primarily concerned with pre-empting laws that require providers to structure health plans in a particular way, as opposed to laws that are merely forms of cost regulation or cost uniformity.

In deciding PCMA v. Mulready, the district court here held that all of PCMA’s ERISA preemption claims fail as a matter of law because the Court concludes, “[w]hile these provisions may alter the incentives and limit some of the options that an ERISA plan can use, none of the provisions forces ERISA plans to make any specific choices.” Thus, none of the provisions of Oklahoma’s Patient’s Right to Pharmacy Choice Act are preempted by ERISA and the State may continue to proceed with enforcement. With respect to Medicare Part D, the court found that about half of PCMA’s preemption claims failed, while about half were meritorious.

“Overall, the court’s ruling provides much-needed guidance for enforcement and clarity for processes in the industry as a whole,” Mulready said. “While it is certainly possible that PCMA may appeal their loss to the Tenth Circuit, the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s enforcement efforts, with respect to the Act’s provisions, will continue on surer footing, having gained even more precedential authority upon which to stand.”

If you have questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at www.oid.ok.gov.

 

Questions or comments should be directed to
Communications Director, Liz Heigle
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov | (405) 819-2221

Mulready Says Get Ready Part I: Before the Storm

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For Immediate Release:
March 17, 2022

Mulready Says Get Ready Part I:
Before the Storm

By Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready

In Oklahoma, natural disasters are a tragic reality. Every year, disasters disrupt different parts of our state, leaving behind lasting effects on Oklahomans and property. After a disaster, many in our community need help and first responders may not be able to assist right away. That is why it’s important to Get Ready now. You and your family can take simple steps to Get Ready for emergencies and mitigate your risks. Here are some very easy but essential things you can do to Get Ready.

  1. Document Your Property
    One of the most important things you can do before a storm hits is to make a home inventory. Keep a detailed record of your valuable belongings to help you recover and file a claim more quickly. Take photos or videos to record your belongings and write down descriptions. Take photos or videos of the inside and outside of your home, including spaces like closets and cabinet interiors. Keep your inventory somewhere away from your home (i.e. safe deposit box, virtual cloud), where it can be accessed after a disaster.
  2. Review Your Insurance
    Disasters are a matter of when not if. Understand the risks you may face and talk to your agent to ensure that you have the insurance coverage you need for your property. For example, a standard homeowners policy does not cover floods, and you may need a separate wind and hail policy if you live in tornado-prone areas. It’s also important to prepare your property before the storm hits. Sometimes it is not the storm that directly causes the damage to your home but your possessions that are not secured in your yard. Cut down or trim trees that may be in danger of falling on your home. Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  3. Make a Plan
    Lastly, having a plan in place and knowing how you will respond to the storm can make a significant impact. Be sure to have flashlights, food, water and a weather radio ready at all times. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find and practice that plan regularly. Sign up for your community’s alert and warning systems and make sure you understand what these alerts and warnings mean.

To help Oklahomans prepare for this storm season, we’re releasing the three-part column series—Mulready Says Get Ready: Before, During and After the Storm. This comprehensive series will provide you with detailed information on how best to prepare for disasters. In this series, I’ll explain general disaster preparedness tips for before, during and after disasters. Please follow #GetReadyOK and visit www.oid.ok.gov/getready for more information on how to Get Ready.

If you have questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at www.oid.ok.gov.

 

Questions or comments should be directed to
Communications Director, Liz Heigle
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov | (405) 819-2221

Annual Senior Fraud Webinar Series Beginning March 23

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For Immediate Release:
March 1, 2022

Oklahoma Insurance Department Hosts Annual Senior Fraud Webinar Series Beginning March 23

 

OKLAHOMA CITY –The Oklahoma Insurance Department’s (OID) Medicare Assistance Program (MAP) is partnering with the Oklahoma Department of Securities, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, the Oklahoma Banker’s Association, AARP Oklahoma and the National Insurance Crime Bureau to host its Annual Senior Fraud Webinar Series. The webinar series will be held every Wednesday starting March 23 through May 4. Sessions start at 10:00 a.m. CST and each one is scheduled to cover different fraud topics including Medicare and healthcare fraud, relationship scams, cyber scams, investment fraud, banking fraud and securities fraud.

The 2022 Senior Fraud Webinar Series will educate Oklahomans on the latest white-collar crimes and provide tips to protect themselves from scams targeting seniors. This virtual event will consist of seven educational webinars led by speakers with diverse areas of expertise such as state agency directors, Medicare professionals and individuals from the fraud prevention fields.

“Each year, scammers come up with new ways to steal personal information and money from consumers. These scams are becoming more and more prevalent, especially for senior citizens,” Director of the MAP division Ray Walker said. “This is a great opportunity to learn how to identify these new scams, how to avoid becoming a victim and what to do if you think you may have become a victim.”

To register, visit www.oid.ok.gov/SeniorFraud. Follow OID on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to stay informed about the event.

If you have questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at www.oid.ok.gov.

 

Questions or comments should be directed to
Communications Director, Liz Heigle
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov | (405) 819-2221

BULLETIN No. 01-2022

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BULLETIN NO. 2022-01


To: ALL PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURERS LICENSED IN OKLAHOMA
Re: LANE v. PROGRESSIVE NORTHERN INSURANCE CO. 2021 OK 40
From: GLEN MULREADY, INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
Date: February 9, 2022

 


 

PURPOSE OF THIS BULLETIN

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform all property and casualty insurers of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s recent decision in Lane v. Progressive Northern Insurance Co. On June 29, 2021, the Oklahoma Supreme Court addressed the following question of law:

Does Progressive’s UM (Uninsured Motorist) Exclusion—which operates to deny uninsured motorist coverage to insureds who recover at least the statutorily mandated minimum in the form of liability coverage—contravene Oklahoma’s Uninsured Motorist Statute, codified at 36 O.S. § 3636?

Progressive’s UM Exclusion (the Exclusion) operates to exclude uninsured-motorist coverage when the insured receives liability coverage in an amount equal to or greater than the minimum limits of liability prescribed under Oklahoma law. The two plaintiffs in this case each had damages in excess of $100,000, which was the policy liability coverage amount. Due to the additional amount of damages over the $100,000, the plaintiffs sought damages under the policy’s uninsured motorist coverage. However, because the plaintiffs in this case both recovered $100,000 under the policy’s liability coverage—which is greater than the Oklahoma statutory minimum of $25,000 —Progressive denied their uninsured-motorist claims by relying on the UM Exclusion.

The Court ruled the Exclusion violates the terms of 36 O.S. §3636 and found it to be against public policy, therefore void and unenforceable. The Court reasoned that the Exclusion neither protects the policyholder’s choice to accept uninsured-motorist coverage, nor represents a validly agreed upon exclusion from that coverage.

A link to the case can be found here: https://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=489176

The Oklahoma Insurance Department encourages readers of this bulletin to periodically check the Department’s website at https://www.oid.ok.gov for news and updates to bulletins and other relevant material.

 

Questions applicable to this bulletin should be directed to:
Antuanya “Bo” DeBose of the Legal Division at bo.debose@oid.ok.gov.