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Combined Governmental Affairs/Health Conference Call, 6/14/17
● Roger Beyer, lobbyist
● Lisa Lettenmaier, State President-Elect
● Laura Powell
● John Thunell
● Paul Hagemann
● Tracy Boster
● Mary Louise VanNatta, Staff, Sidney Gallardo
Meeting called to order at 9:03 a.m.
Governmental Affairs- Roger Beyer
● 26 days left in the session
● Senate said they will be done early
● House has all the tax bills and haven’t passed any. They will probably hold those until they get what they want from the Senate.
HB 2830: http://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/2017/HB2830/ (Gross Receipts tax)
● Gross receipts tax on the table, would tax companies with gross receipts of $3mil or more
● Public Hearing was June 13 (NFIB, HBA, NAIFA testified in opposition, rest were in support).
● The bill is projected to raise $1B
● For Insurance and Financial firms, only dollars kept by entity (commissions, etc.) are taxable
● Business owner (Agency Owner) would have to pay tax on all gross commissions received, regardless if some of the commissions were paid out to a 1099 agent
● Currently, if you are a pass-through entity (S-Corp, LLC) you get a preferred tax rate based on a “pass-through rate differential” …with this law, the preferred tax rate would go away
● Some C-corps will be hit very hard
● Even though the public voted this down in the Fall of 2016 (Measure 97) the legislature is still trying to push this through
● If it passes the House and Senate, the only option to stop it would from becoming law would be to refer it to the voters. There would only be (90) days from the point it passed to gather the necessary signatures
● Roger is hopeful there aren’t enough votes for this, they would need (1) Republican vote in the House and Senate since the Democrats do not hold a “super majority.”
HB 2391 http://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/2017/HB2391/ (Hospital Tax)
● Both sides seem to agree with the provider tax (increase hospital provider tax)
● Loophole in Medicaid law that a state is reimbursed 2 to 1 (every $1 we spend we get $2 federal in return)
● The State taxes hospitals, uses money to put into Medicaid and the Fed’s match 2-1 and give the money back to the hospitals
● It is a way to get more federal dollars…not sure how this would be affected if the Feds adjust the Medicaid Expansion from the ACA
● The problem with the bill is that the Speaker (Tina Kotek) wants a 1.5% tax on health insurance premiums and is unwilling to take that out of the package. With that in the bills language, even some Democrats are reluctant to vote yes for the bill as the 1.5% premium tax would go straight to the consumer.
SB 95 (Mandatory reporting of suspected Elder financial abuse)
● Awaiting final report in the House.
● Of the (4) definitions of when a “mandatory report” would be a crime, the first three are actual crimes. The fourth item was modified to read “when income or assets are being used for the benefit of someone other than the account holder AND “without the account holder’s consent.”
● Only Financial Advisors have this new Class D regulation because other mandatory reporters do not have access to consumer’s financials (like physicians, etc.)
● Financial advisors who work for financial institutions (banks) do not have to be reporters but they have other regulations that make them mandatory reporters if they suspect abuse
● Another amendment changes it from a criminal act for failure to report with a $2,000 fine to a $1,000 max Civil fine.
● This bill has seen improvements in many areas do directly to the work of NAIFA OR, our lobbyist, Roger Beyer, who negotiated directly with the Senate committee members and several of our NAIFA OR members who gave of their time to review the bill and voice their concerns. A BIG Thank You to all involved!!!
SB 332 (Insurance Rebates)
● Passed both Senate and House.
● Our arguments were not as compelling as Nationwide.
● State Farm went to neutral because of Senate amendments and NAIFA Oregon then lost traction.
SB 828: (Predictive Scheduling)
● Has become a Retail Bill (Walmart & Wilco)
● The bill will probably get moved out of the Senate Committee
● Affects retail employers who hire more than 500 employees in the State who are not protected under a union.
HB 3083 (Requires DCBS to do a study on how to stabilize health insurance exchange)
● Currently in Ways and Means
● Doesn’t seem to be going anywhere due to lack of funding.
SB 977 (Non-Compete Bill)
● Bill died in Judiciary committee due to lack of support
● There will be a summer work group on the issue
● Would have changed (18) month limit to (6) month limit on non-compete
● The bill does not specifically address 1099 agents
● NAIFA Oregon will monitor the workgroup this summer.
● Congress did repeal the requirements for State Run Retirement Plan.
● Oregon is going forward and rules will go out for comment.
● July 1 will be the start. Comment period is now open.
● Two clauses are added:
● Program is not an employer-sponsored plan.
● Employee participation is completely voluntary.
● Any initial legal challenge may come from an employer who is required to do this.
● Any employee who puts their money in the system and it doesn’t make money (and they feel they have been wronged by the State or the employer) could go to ERISA for protection.
Health- Lisa Lettenmaier
● Atrio will no longer sell Individual and group health plans as of Dec. 31, 2017...this will mean that they will not be allowed to re-enter the market for (5) years
● Zoom health plans will also close as of Dec. 31, 2017.
● Carriers have filed their initial rate requests for 2018, the state should release their approved rates by late July
● Lowest request is from PacificSource (only want 6.9% increase) rest want an average increase of 12.5 to 20.7%
● Small group market is doing better, a few carriers requested average increase of 8% but most are averaging between 2 to 5 %.
● Humana is pulling out of the individual health market in the exchange.
● Currently (45) counties in the USA that will have no insurance companies to choose from on the exchange, (1200) counties will only have (1) carrier to choose from…that is 40% of the counties in the country. These numbers could get worse.
● Carriers are tired of losing money and there is uncertainty whether the Trump administration will continue to pay the “cost sharing subsidy”
● Regence and Asuris are pulling out of the Washington Exchange
● Big concerns for consumers and what choices they will have for health plans in 2018.
Adjourned at 9:51 a.m.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, July 12, 2017, 9 a.m.,
Dial in: 1-503-210-2091, Conference Bridge 2, Code: 6931
Address: 7420 SW Garden Home RD - Portland, OR 97223 ● Email: email@example.com