Up to 16 new rules expected out of the OIC

The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) is currently working on churning out 16 new rules, 9 of which are related to legislation passed during the 2019 legislative session. 

We reached out to Candice Myrum, Policy and Legislative Affairs Deputy Commissioner at the OIC, for a rundown on the office’s 2019 proposed rules and agenda. 

 

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Myrum says that the 16 rules this year fall within the average number of rules that the OIC has worked on in recent years. 

2014: 13 rules

2015: 16 rules

2016: 17 rules

2017: 17 rules

2018: 13 rules

Of the 16 rules in progress, 8 are considered “complex.” This means that more stakeholdering than normal will likely be involved, more discussion will be required, and potentially more than one draft of the rule will need to be developed. 

We asked Myrum about some of the most complex rules that the OIC is working on this year. She highlighted the OIC’s work on both the implementation and the rulemaking involved with surprise billing. The Balance Billing Protection Act (HB 1065) passed during the 2019 legislative session and aims to protect consumers from receiving a surprise medical bill when they receive emergency care at an out-of-network ER, or medical services by an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility.  

It took us four year to get this [bill] through the legislature, and in addition to the rulemaking, we also have 6 different work streams working on implementation of it as well. So, it’s one of the biggest things that we’re working on,” says Myrum. 

Myrum also points to rulemaking related to adverse notifications and health plan coverage of reproductive healthcare and contraception as being particularly complex. 

So far, just one rule — MACRA changes to Medicare Supplement Policies — has been adopted in 2019. But, Myrum says we can expect nearly all of the 16 active rules to be finalized before the start of the 2020 legislative session in January, with some finalized rules being filed as early as this week. 

However, she notes that the prescription drug utilization management rule and the adverse notification rule may not be completed by January. 

A list of the 2019 proposed draft rules along with scheduled meetings and public comment dates are available here.