Tuesday, December 28, 2021

No. 450: The South Carolina Department of Insurance Attacks the SHIP Rehabilitation Plan

On November 16, 2021, the South Carolina Department of Insurance (SCDOI) issued a media release entitled "SCDOI Director Ray Farmer Seeks to Stop the Implementation of the Rehabilitation Plan for Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania (SHIP) in South Carolina." The first sentence of the media release reads: "Yesterday, Ray Farmer, Director of the SCDOI, took another step toward protecting consumers who have long-term care insurance with SHIP from potentially detrimental rate increases or benefit reductions."

On November 19, Chief Administrative Judge L. Casey Manning of the Fifth Judicial Circuit in Columbia, South Carolina, blocked immediate implementation of the SHIP Rehabilitation Plan. At this writing, the fate of the SHIP Rehabilitation Plan is not known.

I have written extensively about SHIP's financial problems. To review my posts about SHIP, click here or search for SHIP on my blog using the search box in the extreme upper left corner.


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

No. 449: The AM Best Business Trilogy

On August 21, 2020, A. M. Best Company published The AM Best Business Trilogy. The company sent me a review copy consisting of three hardback books.

One book, entitled The Man, is a 275-page (including end notes and index) biography of Alfred M. Best. Another book, entitled The Company, is a 581-page (including end notes and index) history of A. M. Best Company. The third book, entitled The Industry, is an 815-page (including end notes and index) history of the credit rating agencies.

The Trilogy is an impressive piece of work. It is available for $75 from A. M. Best Company or from Amazon.


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

No. 448: A Class Action Lawsuit Against Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State and Others

In 2019, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State signed into law a state program designed to address the problem of financing the long-term care exposure faced by residents of the state. The statute created a "long term service and support trust fund" referred to as "WA Care," and at the beginning of next year workers will be required to start contributing to the fund. WA Care is the nation's first state-operated long-term care insurance program.

On November 9, 2021, three entities and six individuals filed in federal court in Seattle a class action lawsuit against Governor Inslee and three others. (See Pacific Bells, LLC et al. v. Jay Inslee et al., U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, Case No. 2:21-cv-1515.) Here is the first paragraph of the introduction in the 21-page complaint:
Beginning January 1, 2022, Washington State workers will pay $0.58 per $100 (.58%) of earnings to the Long-Term Service and Support Trust Fund (the "Trust") pursuant to the Long Term Services and Support Trust Program, referred to as "WA Care" or the "Act" and codified as RCW 50B.04, et seq. This action challenges the Act and requests a declaratory judgment that the Act is unenforceable as it violates ERISA and federal and state laws governing employee benefit plans and multiple employer welfare arrangements ("MEWAs").
The Judge
The case has been assigned to Senior Judge Thomas S. Zilly. President Reagan nominated him in February 1988 and the Senate confirmed him in April 1988. He assumed senior status in January 2004.

General Observations
This interesting case is in its early stages. I plan to provide an update in due course.