SCC News

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Information Resources Division: 804-371-9141 sccinfo@scc.virginia.gov

 

RECEIVE SCC NEWS

Get updates on the latest in Utility, Financial, and General news

Archive

RICHMOND – More than 400,000 Virginians signed up for health care coverage during the first open enrollment period for Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace, which took place from November 1, 2023, to January 16, 2024.

The number of health insurance enrollments in Virginia increased by nearly 14 percent from the previous year and marked a major milestone for Virginia’s new state-based exchange and its mission to offer health care plans that meet the needs of its residents.

Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace was created by Virginia, for Virginians. The Health Benefit Exchange, a division of the State Corporation Commission, operates Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace.

“From the beginning, our goal was to create a marketplace that was easy to use and connected Virginians and their families to health care coverage they can depend on,” said Keven Patchett, director of the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange. “We look forward to increasing our impact in the future — both by reaching more Virginians and by connecting enrolled Virginians to other programs they may be eligible for.”

“We would like to thank Virginia certified insurance agents, navigators, and assisters for their tremendous work in helping to enroll Virginians across the Commonwealth. We would also like to thank Virginia carriers for their partnership in ensuring a smooth transition as well as our state agency partners, including the Department of Medical Assistance Services and the Department of Social Services, for their efforts to coordinate our operational processes effectively to promote continuity of coverage,” said Patchett.

Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace — which replaced HealthCare.gov for all Virginians — launched on November 1, 2023, and provides a variety of resources for residents to search for affordable health care coverage.

Marketplace plans provide quality, comprehensive coverage. All health insurance plans on the Marketplace include free preventative services and guarantee coverage for preexisting conditions. Additionally, every health plan offered on the Marketplace covers the 10 essential health benefits required by law, which include doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription services, and more. In Virginia, consumers have a wide array of options to find a plan that best fits their needs.

Although the Open Enrollment Period has ended, Virginians who experience a Qualifying Life Event (such as having a baby or losing health insurance coverage) during the year may be eligible to enroll from January 17 to October 31 during a Special Enrollment Period. The next Open Enrollment Period for coverage starting in 2025 will take place from November 1, 2024, to January 15, 2025.

For additional help — either online or in person — Virginians can access the following resources:

  • The Marketplace Help Center can connect Virginians to someone either in person or on the phone. Free translation services are also available.
  • The FAQ page answers some of the most common questions about the Marketplace.

###

Contact: Andy Farmer, 804-371-9141

RICHMOND – With severe winter weather here, now is the time to protect your home, business, vehicles and other property from the elements.

Every year, winter weather causes billions of dollars in losses on homes, businesses, vehicles and other property.

The State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance (Bureau) encourages Virginians to give their insurance coverage a thorough review and get their homes and vehicles ready for harsh winter conditions. Knowing and understanding the limits of your insurance coverage, as well as any deductibles you may have to pay in the event of a claim, is essential.

Winter weather events are often responsible for tree limbs breaking and falling on homes, vehicles and power lines. Flooding of property and interior damage to structures can occur as snow and ice melt after a winter storm ends. Sub-freezing temperatures can lead to broken pipes inside and outside your home.

“Plan ahead for seasonal and other hazards,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White. “Homeowners, renters and commercial-property policies can protect you against many types of winter weather threats, but there are exceptions. Contact your insurance agent or company or the SCC’s Bureau of Insurance to learn more.”

To help reduce the risk of damage to your home and property this winter, the Bureau suggests the following:

  • Remove dead, dying, diseased or broken tree limbs near your home and property.
  • Remove debris from your gutters to help prevent ice dams and allow melting water to drain freely away from your home.
  • Inspect your attic insulation and ventilation to ensure warm air stays in the living areas of your home and out of the attic. Keeping attic air cold can help minimize the freeze/thaw cycle that causes ice dams, which may cause interior water damage to your home. Proper insulation of your home has the added advantage of helping save energy and may reduce your heating costs.
  • Protect your pipes from freezing. Detach garden hoses from your home before temperatures drop below freezing and properly winterize pipes and irrigation systems around your home. To protect interior pipes, leave your faucet running slightly to allow water to trickle through the pipes, reducing the chance that standing water will freeze. Opening the cabinet doors under your sink allows warm air to circulate around your pipes and to help keep them from freezing.
  • Make sure fireplaces, wood stoves and electric heaters work properly. Additionally, keep combustible items away from heat sources.

Damages to property due to wind, snow, cold and freezing rain are often covered under standard homeowners, renters and commercial-property insurance policies. Property damage caused by flooding typically is not covered, but separate flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program at floodsmart.gov and may be available through your insurance carrier.

It’s important to contact your insurance agent or company as soon as possible in the event your home or property suffers damage from severe winter weather. When safe to do so, make any necessary emergency repairs and take reasonable steps to prevent further damage. Record all damage to your property and include photographs, notes and repair-related receipts.

Your homeowners policy may also cover certain incidents where someone slips and falls on slick sidewalks or other surfaces on your property. Review your policy or contact your agent or company to check for this coverage under the liability and medical payments portion of the policy.

In the event of an auto accident between two or more vehicles due to snowy and slippery road conditions, or if your vehicle crashes into an object affixed along a roadway (such as a streetlight) due to those conditions, standard auto insurance policies generally provide collision coverage. Checking to see whether your auto insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by ice, snow and falling tree limbs is also helpful. Damages of this nature usually fall under other-than-collision (or comprehensive) coverage on your vehicle, which protects against damage to a vehicle from such things as fire, water, hail, vandalism, glass breakage, wind and falling objects.

The Bureau offers consumer guides regarding homeowners, renters, commercial and auto insurance and disaster-related property insurance claims. For copies of these and other publications, or for answers to your insurance questions, contact the Bureau’s Property and Casualty Consumer Services Section at 804-371-9185 in Richmond or toll-free at 1-877-310-6560. Copies of the consumer insurance guides are also available on the Bureau’s website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Insurance.

###

Contact: Jordan Bondurant, 804-371-9141

RICHMOND – Virginia’s 804 area code region will soon have an additional area code – 686. Customers requesting new service or additional phone lines in the 804 area code region could be assigned the new 686 area code as soon as February 1, 2024, but not until all available phone numbers in the 804 area code have run out. That is expected to happen during the third quarter of 2024.

In November 2022, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) approved the implementation of the new 686 area code to be superimposed over the same geographic region covered by the existing 804 area code. This area includes the central portion of Virginia including Richmond, Ashland, Charles City, Chesterfield, Henrico, New Kent and Petersburg, as well as the Northern Neck.

The new 686 area code addresses the exhaustion of phone numbers in the 804 area code caused by increasing demand for phone lines. The relief provided by the new 686 area code is expected to last approximately 32 years.

Existing customers will keep their 804 area code and seven-digit telephone number. Customers in the 804 area code already transitioned to mandatory 10-digit dialing (three-digit area code plus seven-digit phone number) for local calls in July 2022 as a result of the national implementation of 988, the three-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Ten-digit dialing for local calls will also be required for customers in the new 686 area code. Thus, customers in the 804 and 686 area codes will dial 10 digits for local calls within and between the overlay area codes, and 1+10 digits for long distance calls.

Under the 804/686 area code overlay, what is a local call now will remain a local call. In addition, the price of a call, coverage area or other rates and services will not change due to the 686 area code overlay. Customers can still dial just three digits to reach 911 and 988, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711, and 811.

The SCC encourages consumers in the 804 area code region to ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment or other types of equipment recognize the new 686 area code as a valid area code and continue to store or program telephone numbers as 10-digit numbers.

For more information, please contact your local telephone service provider or visit the SCC website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Area-Code-Overlays.

###

Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141

Case Number: PUR-2022-00083 In the matter of the Commission's investigation into exhaust relief for the 804 area code

RICHMOND – The State Corporation Commission’s Health Benefit Exchange reminds Virginians that January 16, 2024, is the deadline to apply for, re-enroll in, or change health insurance for 2024 on Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace. Virginians who enroll by 11:59 p.m. on January 16 will have coverage that starts February 1, 2024. Following the end of Open Enrollment on January 16, Virginians who experience a Qualifying Life Event (such as having a baby or losing health insurance coverage) during the year may be eligible to enroll during a Special Enrollment Period that takes place from January 17 to October 31.

Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace – which replaced HealthCare.gov for all Virginians – launched on November 1, 2023, and provides a variety of resources for residents to find affordable health care coverage. Since its launch at the beginning of this Open Enrollment Period, hundreds of thousands of Virginians have accessed the Marketplace to find coverage that meets their needs.

“We are extremely pleased with the number of Virginians who have used this new resource to find health plans that meet their unique needs,” said Keven Patchett, director of the Health Benefit Exchange. “We encourage anyone who hasn’t signed up for health insurance to do so before open enrollment ends to ensure that they don’t experience a lapse in coverage.”

Individual and family plans are available to eligible Virginians, including those who are unemployed, are self-employed, or have jobs that may not provide affordable insurance options. Virginians who no longer qualify for Medicaid because of changes in their income also may qualify for savings on the Marketplace.

All health insurance plans on the Marketplace include free preventive services and guarantee coverage for preexisting conditions. Additionally, every health plan offered on the Marketplace covers the 10 essential health benefits required by law, which include doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription services and more. In Virginia, consumers have an array of options to find a plan that best fits their needs.

Virginians can apply on the Marketplace for financial assistance to help lower their monthly insurance costs. Nearly nine out of 10 Marketplace customers qualify for financial assistance.

Virginians can visit Marketplace.Virginia.gov to browse and compare health insurance plans. To apply for a plan on the Marketplace, Virginians need the following materials for each adult who will be covered:

  • Photo ID.
  • Social Security number.
  • Most recent tax return.
  • Pay stubs from the last four weeks.
  • Immigration documents, if applicable.

For additional help — either online or in person — Virginians can access the following resources:

  • The Marketplace Help Center can connect Virginians to someone either in person or on the phone. Free translation services are also available.
  • The FAQ page answers some of the most common questions about the Marketplace.

###

Contact: Andy Farmer, 804-371-9141

RICHMOND – The State Corporation Commission (SCC) will hold a hearing in Loudoun County on January 9 to receive public testimony on a request by the owners of the Dulles Greenway to increase the maximum level of tolls over a five-year period.

The public hearing is scheduled from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. at Freedom-South Riding High School auditorium, 25450 Riding Center Drive, in Chantilly, Virginia. Persons intending to testify as public witness should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the meeting and register with the Commission’s bailiff. Witness statements will be limited to five minutes apiece.

The hearing is part of a case before the SCC. Toll Roads Investors Partnership II has filed a request to increase its maximum tolls for most drivers to $8.10 during peak hours, up from the current $5.80, and $6.40 during off-peak hours, up from $5.25. The company also has asked that the Commission authorize a streamlined process to consider and approve future increases.

For those who prefer, there is also an opportunity to provide comments in writing on the toll request. Written comments may be submitted through the SCC’s website by January 24, 2024, at scc.virginia.gov/casecomments/Submit-Public-Comments. Simply go to the SCC website, select “Cases” and then “Cases Currently Accepting Public Comments,” and scroll down to case number PUR-2023-00089. Then select SUBMIT COMMENTS.

Comments can also be submitted by U.S. mail to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, c/o Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2118. All comments must refer to case number PUR-2023-00089.

###

Contact: Greg Weatherford, 804-371-9141

Case Number PUR-2023-00089 – Application of Toll Road Investors Partnership II for authorization for an increase in the maximum level of tolls on Dulles Greenway

RICHMOND – Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace reminds Virginians that December 15 is the last day to apply for health care coverage that starts on January 1, 2024. Any health care coverage secured after December 15 and before Open Enrollment ends on January 15 will begin on February 1, 2024.

After the Open Enrollment period ends January 15, Virginians experiencing a Qualifying Life Event (such as having a baby or losing health insurance coverage) may be eligible to enroll during a Special Enrollment Period.

Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace – which replaced HealthCare.gov for all Virginians – launched on November 1, 2023, and provides a wealth of resources for residents to find affordable health care coverage. Hundreds of thousands of Virginians have accessed the Marketplace this Open Enrollment Period to find coverage that meets their needs.

“The Marketplace is a resource that was created by Virginia for Virginians, and it’s great place to compare the costs of different plans or to see whether your doctor is covered under a certain plan,” said Keven Patchett, Director of the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange. “We also know that health care coverage can sometimes be complex. For those moments, our consumer assistance center stands ready to answer questions and to assist consumers through the shopping experience.”

Marketplace plans provide quality, comprehensive coverage. They include free preventative services and guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions. Additionally, every health plan offered on the Marketplace covers the 10 essential health benefits required by law, which include doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription services and more. In Virginia, consumers have a wide array of options to find a plan that best fits their needs.

The Marketplace is the only place where Virginians can apply for financial assistance to help lower their monthly insurance costs. Nearly 9 out of 10 Marketplace customers qualify for financial assistance.

Virginians who no longer qualify for Medicaid because of changes in their income may also qualify for considerable savings on the Marketplace.

To get started, Virginians can visit Marketplace.Virginia.gov to browse and compare health insurance plans. For additional help — either online or in person — Virginians can access the following resources:

  • The Marketplace Help Center can connect Virginians to someone either in person or on the phone. Free translation services are also available.
  • The FAQ page answers some of the most common questions about the Marketplace.

###

Contact: Andy Farmer, 804-371-9141

 


About Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace: 
Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace is Virginia’s new state-affiliated health insurance marketplace created to better support the needs of customers purchasing health coverage.  For more information, visit marketplace.virginia.gov or follow us on social media at www.facebook.com/VAInsuranceMarketplace and www.instagram.com/vainsurancemarketplace.

RICHMOND – The State Corporation Commission (SCC) will hold a hearing in Loudoun County in January to receive public testimony on a request by the owners of the Dulles Greenway to increase the maximum level of tolls over a five-year period.

TRIP II has filed a request with the SCC to increase its maximum tolls for most drivers to $8.10 during peak hours, up from the current $5.80, and $6.40 during off-peak hours, up from $5.25. The company also has asked that the Commission authorize a streamlined process to consider and approve future increases.

A public hearing is scheduled in Chantilly, Virginia, on January 9, 2024, from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. at Freedom-South Riding High School auditorium, 25450 Riding Center Drive. Persons intending to testify as a public witness should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the meeting and register with the Commission’s bailiff. Witness statements will be limited to five minutes apiece.

The hearing will resume in Richmond on January 30, 2024, at 10 a.m. in the SCC’s courtroom on the second floor of the Tyler Building, 1300 East Main Street. Public witnesses intending to provide testimony at the January 30 hearing must pre-register with the SCC by 5 p.m. on January 24, 2024. Registered witnesses will submit their live testimony by telephone. The January 30 hearing will be webcast at: scc.virginia.gov/pages/Webcasting.

For those who prefer, there is also an opportunity to provide comments in writing on the toll request. Written comments may be submitted through the SCC’s website by January 10, 2024, at scc.virginia.gov/casecomments/Submit-Public-Comments. Simply go to the SCC website, select “Cases” and then “Submit Public Comments,” and scroll down to case number PUR-2023-00089. Then select SUBMIT COMMENTS.

Comments can also be submitted by U.S. mail to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, c/o Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2118. All comments must refer to case number PUR-2023-00089.

###

Contact: Greg Weatherford, 804-371-9141

Case Number PUR-2023-00089 – Application of Toll Road Investors Partnership II for authorization for an increase in the maximum level of tolls on Dulles Greenway

RICHMOND – The holiday season is here, and the State Corporation Commission's (SCC) Bureau of Insurance (Bureau) wants Virginians to have a happy and safe holiday by protecting themselves financially with insurance to combat holiday mishaps.

The Bureau reminds Virginians that their holiday to-do list should include checking with their insurance agent or company to ensure they have the insurance coverage they need should an injury, illness, theft or mishap occur.

“Whether you are at home or on the road, don’t let a lack of insurance coverage dampen your holidays financially,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott White. “Review your insurance coverage now and update it as needed. Know what is – and is not – covered and understand deductibles and coverage limits.”

While reviewing your insurance coverage, taking additional steps to keep your home, vehicle and belongings secure during this time of year is important. Take the time to know how much your auto and homeowners insurance will cover if someone steals gifts, decorations or other items from your vehicle, home or yard. Understand what type of insurance you need if a special holiday meal or decorations go up in flames, an undercooked turkey sends guests to the hospital, or frozen pipes burst causing water damage to your home.

Remember that distracted drivers and the potential for severe winter weather can make holiday travel a challenge. Keep your auto insurance company’s contact information and a copy of your insurance card with you when you drive. Review liability limits to ensure they’re adequate to protect against injury or damage if you are involved in an accident during the hectic holiday rush.

Familiarize yourself with what your medical insurance will cover if you need treatment at an urgent-care facility or hospital while you are out-of-state or traveling abroad. Make sure your health insurance information is up-to-date and always have copies of your insurance card with you when traveling.

The end of the year is a great time to create – or update – your home inventory. An inventory can help you determine if your homeowners or renters policy provides enough coverage for your belongings – as well as facilitate the claims process if you must file an insurance claim. An inventory also will help you identify high-cost items that may need separate insurance coverage, such as jewelry, art or electronics. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) free smartphone app — NAIC Home Inventory — makes creating a home inventory easy.

Finally, check that you have insurance coverage for seasonal activities that you may enjoy, such as skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.

For information about a variety of insurance-related topics, contact the SCC’s Bureau of Insurance in Richmond at 804-371-9741 or toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or visit its website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Insurance. Additional information also may be found on the NAIC website at naic.org.

###

Contact: Jordan Bondurant, 804-371-9141

RICHMOND – The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved Dominion Energy Virginia’s request to securitize approximately $1.3 billion of unrecovered fuel costs. 

The unrecovered fuel costs accrued from higher-than-expected fuel and purchased power costs between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2023. The proposal is expected to allow customers to pay off these unrecovered costs over approximately 7.25 years rather than over as little as 19 months. 

Dominion estimated that, as approved, customers would pay approximately $3.10 per month over 7.25 years rather than up to $14.72 per month under the traditional methodology. Final terms will not be known until the bonds are marketed and priced and are subject to change. 

The request was approved under a new statutory financing vehicle created by the 2023 General Assembly. The new statute allows Dominion, with Commission approval, to use a special-purpose entity to issue securitized bonds to finance certain unrecovered fuel costs. The proceeds from the bond issuance will be used to satisfy the unrecovered balance. The bondholders are paid through customer charges on the electric bill over the term of the securitization period. 

The Commission required that the bond issuance, once final terms are known, must provide both customer bill reductions and a net present value to customers compared to other recovery options. 

The Commission previously permitted Dominion to suspend collection of the unrecovered fuel costs on an interim basis beginning July 1, 2023, subject to the Commission’s consideration of the securitization request. Customer charges for securitization are expected to begin in Spring 2024. 

###

Contact: Greg Weatherford, 804-371-9141

Case Number PUR-2023-00112 – Petition of Dominion Energy Virginia for a financing order authorizing the issuance of deferred fuel cost bonds

RICHMOND – The State Corporation Commission (SCC) is announcing the November 1 launch of Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace, which replaces HealthCare.gov as the Commonwealth’s official health benefit exchange. Virginia residents can enroll now in health insurance for 2024 on Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace during the Open Enrollment Period, which ends January 15, 2024.

Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace was created by Virginia, for Virginians. The Health Benefit Exchange, a division of the SCC, operates Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace.

“We work every day to better understand the unique needs of individuals and families in our state, and we have created a marketplace that connects them to high-quality, affordable health care coverage they can depend on,” said Keven Patchett, director of Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace. 

The goal of Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace is to increase access to affordable and reliable health coverage for Virginians.

“We have had the privilege of working closely with state agencies, health insurance carriers, insurance agents, navigators and our technology vendor, GetInsured, to make this transition a reality for Virginia,” said Patchett. “We look forward to continuing these relationships as we work together to improve access to coverage for Virginians, reduce the number of uninsured, and support the continuity of coverage for those experiencing coverage transitions.”

“Transitioning to a state-based exchange is no small feat,” said Chini Krishnan, CEO of GetInsured. “Transitioning from the federal marketplace will put the Commonwealth in a strong position for the upcoming Open Enrollment Period and beyond, allowing the state more flexibility to provide the best access to affordable coverage for Virginians.

Individual and family plans are available to eligible Virginians, including those who are unemployed, are self-employed, or have jobs that don’t provide affordable insurance options. Residents who have lost Medicaid or FAMIS coverage are also encouraged to shop for affordable insurance on the Marketplace.

The Marketplace is the only place where Virginians can apply for financial assistance to help lower their monthly insurance costs. Nearly 9 out of 10 customers qualify for financial assistance.

Every health plan offered on the Marketplace covers the 10 essential health benefits required by law, which include doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription services and more. 

To get started, Virginians can visit Marketplace.Virginia.gov to browse and compare health insurance plans. For additional help — either online or in person — Virginians can access the following resources:

  • The Marketplace Help Center can connect Virginians to someone either in person or on the phone. Free translation services are also available.
  • The FAQ page answers some of the most common questions about the Marketplace.

For Virginians to receive coverage during 2024 through the Marketplace, they must enroll in a health plan at Marketplace.Virginia.gov by January 15, 2024. After January 15, Virginians experiencing a Qualifying Life Event (such as having a baby or losing health insurance coverage) may be eligible to enroll during a Special Enrollment Period.

###

Contact: Andy Farmer, 804-371-9141

 

previous page arrow
1 2 3 4 5 next page arrow

RECEIVE SCC NEWS

Get updates on the latest in Utility, Financial, and General news

Archive