Notice of Hearing

Docket No. G2011-05

Proposed New Regulation 211 CMR 151.00 - Certified Group Purchasing Cooperatives

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapters 30A and the authority granted to the Commissioner of Insurance by SECTION 34 of Chapter 288 of the Acts of 2010 ("SECTION 34") and M.G.L. c. 176J, § 12, a hearing will be held at the offices of the Division of Insurance, 1000 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118-6200 on March 15, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. The purpose of this hearing is to afford all interested persons an opportunity to provide oral and/or written comment regarding the proposed adoption of a new regulation, 211 CMR 151.00, Certified Group Purchasing Cooperatives. The proposed regulation governs the establishment and oversight of small business purchasing cooperatives in the Commonwealth.

Pursuant to SECTION 68 of Chapter 240 of the Acts of 2010, a small business impact statement is required to be included in this Notice of Hearing. The Division estimates that 211 CMR 151.00 Proposed (Clean) pdf format of 211_151_Clean.pdf , will be applicable to approximately 56 small businesses in the Commonwealth. This number includes all Massachusetts domestic insurance companies licensed to write health insurance (all kinds), health maintenance organizations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc. and those small businesses in the Commonwealth that seek to be certified as one of the six group purchasing cooperatives pursuant to SECTION 34 and the regulation. The Division estimates that the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other administrative costs required for compliance with 211 CMR 151.00 will have an effect on small businesses as they relate to the creation of the six group purchasing cooperatives and costs associated with insurance carriers' offer of products to such cooperatives. 211 CMR 151.00 is drafted in a performance standards format because SECTION 34 and M.G.L. c. 176J, § 12 requires the Commissioner of Insurance to establish and oversee group purchasing cooperatives; thus, the regulation sets forth application and performance requirements for such entities. The Division is not aware of any conflicts between 211 CMR 151.00 and existing Division regulations or existing regulations of another agency or department of the Commonwealth. The Division is not aware of whether 211 CMR 151.00 is likely to deter or encourage the formation of new businesses in the Commonwealth. The Division invites and encourages comments from small businesses in the Commonwealth concerning the promulgation of 211 CMR 151.00, including the following: (1) whether 211 CMR 151.00 could establish less stringent compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses; (2) whether 211 CMR 151.00 could establish less stringent schedules or deadlines for compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses; (3) whether 211 CMR 151.00 could consolidate or simplify compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses; (4) whether 211 CMR 151.00 is likely to deter or encourage the formation of new businesses in the Commonwealth; and (5) what alternative regulatory methods, if any, may be used to minimize the adverse impact of 211 CMR 151.00 on small businesses.

The proceedings concerning the promulgation of new regulation 211 CMR 151.00 shall be designated as Docket No. G2011-05. Any person who wishes to provide oral comment concerning this regulation must file a Notice of Intent to Comment with the Docket Clerk no later than March 14, 2011. Persons wishing to submit written comments may do so until the record of the hearing is closed. All submissions must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Hearings and Appeals, Division of Insurance, 1000 Washington Street, Suite 810, Boston, MA 02118-6200, or by electronic mail to Doidocket.Mailbox@state.ma.us and must refer to Docket No. G2011-05 in the subject line. Persons who do not file a Notice of Intent to Comment will be heard after those who notify the Division in advance of the hearing.

A copy of the regulation is available from the Division and also on its website at: www.mass.gov/doi.













Dated: February 15, 2011

________________________________

Joseph G. Murphy

Commissioner of Insurance