Docket No. G2010-09
Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 30A and the authority granted to the Commissioner of Insurance by M.G.L. c. 175J, § 9 and M.G.L. c. 176G, § 20A, a hearing will be held at the offices of the Division of Insurance, 1000 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118-6200 on March 4, 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 permanent adoption of regulation 211 CMR 150.00 , Standards And Commissioner's Authority for Placing Companies Deemed to be in Hazardous Financial Condition Under Administrative Supervision.
This new regulation sets forth standards for identifying insurers and health maintenance organizations found to be in such condition as to render the continuance of their business hazardous to the public or to holders of their policies or certificates of insurance. These standards articulate the statutory bases that authorize the Commissioner of Insurance ("Commissioner") to order an insurer to take necessary corrective actions or to order the insurer to cease and desist from certain practices which, if not corrected, could place the insurer in a hazardous financial condition. This action has become increasingly necessary in this economic climate. The proposed regulation also provides numerous specific tools that the Commissioner may use once an insurer has been placed into supervision. It provides the necessary details that are not explicitly contained within the governing statutes.
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 150.00 will be applicable to approximately 50 small businesses in the Commonwealth. This number includes all Massachusetts domestic property and casualty, life and health companies licensed for health insurance (all kinds), health maintenance organizations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc., vision service plans and dental service plans. The Division estimates that the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other administrative costs required for compliance with 211 CMR 150.00 are negligible, as the regulation is a standard setting measure that establishes the circumstances and authority under which corrective action may be taken by the Commissioner relative to insurers deemed to be in hazardous financial condition. 211 CMR 150.00 is drafted in a performance standards format because the standards for compliance are explicitly and specifically identified in the regulation with no deviation. The Division is not aware of any conflicts between 211 CMR 150.00 and existing Division regulations or existing regulations of another agency or department of the Commonwealth. The Division is not aware of whether 211 CMR 150.00 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 final promulgation of 211 CMR 150.00, including the following: (1) whether 211 CMR 150.00 could establish less stringent compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses; (2) whether 211 CMR 150.00 could establish less stringent schedules or deadlines for compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses; (3) whether 211 CMR 150.00 could consolidate or simplify compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses; (4) whether 211 CMR 150.00 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 any adverse impact 211 CMR 150.00 on small businesses.
The proceedings concerning the permanent promulgation of regulation 211 CMR 150.00 shall be designated as Docket No. G2010-09. 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 1, 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, Boston, MA 02118-6200, or by electronic mail to Doidocket.Mailbox@state.ma.us and must refer to Docket No. G2010-09 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 proposed regulation is available from the Division and also is posted on its website.
Dated: February 1, 2011
Joseph G. Murphy
Commissioner of Insurance