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SCC News

SCC Offers Guidance to Policyholders in the Wake of Tropical Storm Isaias

AUG 05, 2020

RICHMOND – Property damage from Tropical Storm Isaias likely will raise many questions from Virginia policyholders, including how to expedite the processing of claims with their insurance company. If your home, property or business was damaged during that storm, the State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance (Bureau) encourages you to contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible to file a claim or to find out whether your damaged property is covered by your insurance policy. The Bureau reminds Virginians that flood damage typically is not covered by a standard homeowners or renter's insurance policy.

Many insurance companies have special toll-free numbers for catastrophes that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provide those numbers on their websites. The Bureau also can provide assistance to consumers who have difficulty getting through to their insurance company or agent.

Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White suggests taking pictures of damaged property, saving receipts for repair costs, and protecting your property from further damage. Additional information may be found on the Bureau’s disaster readiness page at https://bit.ly/3gyPYlx. The Bureau also offers disaster guides for Virginia homeowners and businesses that answer the most commonly-asked questions about settling disaster-related insurance problems. They are available on the Bureau’s website at https://bit.ly/2XuGCzS  (homeowners) and https://bit.ly/2PqBxnJ (commercial property).

The Bureau’s specially trained staff stands ready to handle inquiries through its toll-free telephone number 1-877-310-6560 or by email at BureauofInsurance@scc.virginia.gov. Consumers may reach the Consumer Services Section of the Bureau’s Property and Casualty Division directly by calling (804) 371-9185. Consumer complaints may be filed electronically through the Bureau’s website at https://bit.ly/33A52vL.

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Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141
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SCC Seeks Comment Regarding Health Insurance Balance Billing

JUL 17, 2020

RICHMOND – The State Corporation Commission (SCC) is seeking written comments on regulations proposed by its Bureau of Insurance (Bureau) that carry out certain provisions of a new Virginia law designed to protect consumers from receiving surprise medical bills.

Surprise billing or balance billing occurs when patients enrolled in managed care health insurance plans receive bills for more than their plan’s cost-sharing amounts directly from medical service providers who do not participate in a managed care plan’s network of providers - often referred to as “out-of-network” providers.

Under legislation passed by the 2020 General Assembly and signed in April by Gov. Ralph Northam effective January 1, 2021, individuals enrolled in managed care health insurance plans cannot be balance billed in Virginia if they receive emergency services from an out-of-network provider or non-emergency surgical or ancillary (such as diagnostic and support) services from an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility.

The new law incorporates protections for consumers put forth by the Bureau in 2019 as well as adds further protections. Based on the new legislation, the newly proposed regulations replace those advanced last year and establishes procedures for an insurance company and an out-of-network health care provider to arbitrate disputes when they cannot agree on payment for a service. It also establishes qualifications for arbitrators chosen to determine payment disputes.

Additionally, the law sets forth consumer notification requirements for health care facilities and providers regarding balance billing and requires managed care health insurance plans regulated by the Bureau of Insurance to provide notification to enrollees regarding whether they are subject to balance billing and under what circumstances.

Comments or requests for hearing regarding the proposed regulations may be submitted by September 1, 2020, with the Clerk of the Commission, State Corporation Commission, c/o Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218 and shall refer to Case No. INS-2020-00136. Comments may also be submitted through the SCC’s website at https://scc.virginia.gov/casecomments/Submit-Public-Comments. Simply scroll down to case number INS-2020-00136 and click SUBMIT COMMENTS.

You can also learn more about balance billing from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ website.

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Contact: Ford Carson (804) 371-9141
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