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2011 Legislative Summaries

Changes to the Insurance Law and Related Chapters

Note: Legislation is presented in numeric order based on 2011 Chapter Law

Dodd-Frank Conformance
Ch. 61 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law and Tax Law to bring New York into conformance with the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010 set forth therein.

Department Consolidation
Ch. 62 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance and Banking Laws and adds a new Financial Services Law to consolidate the Insurance and Banking Departments into the new Department of Financial Services.

Property/Casualty Extender
Ch. 102 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law to extend until 2014 the sunset dates for Insurance Law sections pertaining to property/casualty insurance.

Sole Proprietor Extender
Ch. 183 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law to extend through December 31, 2014 the maximum premium rate differential for sole proprietors who purchase group health insurance through associations.

Fraudulent Insurance Act
Ch. 211 of the Laws of 2011

The bill makes a technical amendment to the Insurance Law and amends the Penal Law to include the activities that currently constitute a "fraudulent health care insurance act" within the definition of "fraudulent insurance act."

Pre-authorization Extender
Ch. 216 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends Subdivision 2 of Section 20 of Chapter 451 of the Laws of 2007 to extend the applicability of Insurance Law § 3238(a)(1)(iii) through December 31, 2013.

Affordable Care Act
Ch. 219 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law and Public Health Law to implement changes required by the federal Affordable Care Act.

Secured Bail Bonds
Ch. 305 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Criminal Procedure Law to add an additional mechanism to determine the value of real property used in a secured bail bond.

Early Intervention Services
Ch. 406 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law and Public Health Law to require that certain information be provided in connection with claims for early intervention services and to set forth the period within which claims must be submitted.

Volunteer Firefighting
Ch. 408 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law to prohibit an insurer from refusing to issue or renew a covered individually-owned private passenger policy solely on the ground that the motor vehicle to be insured under the policy is to be used for volunteer firefighting.

New York State Insurance Fund Financial Statements
Ch. 445 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Workers’ Compensation Law to require the New York State Insurance Fund to file annual audited financial statements with the Office of the State Comptroller.

Multiple Rating Programs
Ch. 457 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law to provide that, subject to the Superintendent’s prior approval, an insurer may establish more than one rating program within the same company for policies of insurance that are subject to Insurance Law § 3425 under certain conditions. 

Free Trade Zone
Ch. 490 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law to exempt from certain rate and form approval requirements policies written in New York for certain commercial insureds in the free trade zone. 

Back Injuries
Ch. 517 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Workers’ Compensation Law with respect to rates of payment for the treatment and care of employees with back injuries.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Ch. 523 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Public Health Law to allow continuing care retirement communities to enter into fee-for-service contracts under Article 46 of the Public Health Law.

Electronic Commencement of Civil Actions
Ch. 543 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends, in relevant part, Section 6 of Chapter 367 of the Laws of 1999 to provide that the chief administrative judge may eliminate the requirement of consent to participation in the program using electronic means for the commencement of civil actions and proceedings and the filing and service of papers in pending actions and proceedings in actions in New York City Civil Court brought by a provider of health care services against an insurer for failure to comply with rules and regulations promulgated by the Superintendent pursuant to Insurance Law § 5108(b).

Retirement System Investments
Ch. 554 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Retirement and Social Security Law to increase the percentage of assets that public employee retirement systems may invest in real estate.

Oral Chemotherapy Treatments
Ch. 559 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law to require health insurers and health maintenance organizations to cover orally administered anticancer treatment no less favorably than intravenously administered or injected chemotherapy treatments.

Prescription Eye Drops
Ch. 589 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law to allow for the refill of prescription eye drops when a person requests the refill before the last day of the approved dosage period, without regard to any coverage restrictions.

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Chs. 595 and 596 of the Laws of 2011

The bills amend the Insurance Law to expand health insurance coverage for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorder.

Mail Order Pharmacies
Ch. 597 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law to prohibit health insurers and health maintenance organizations from requiring insureds to purchase prescription drugs from a mail order pharmacy.

Fertility Drugs
Ch. 598 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law to ensure that an insured may purchase fertility drugs locally without any additional financial burdens.

Qualified Financial Contracts
Ch. 600 of the Laws of 2011

The bill amends the Insurance Law to increase the certainty of insurers and their creditors with respect to the enforceability of certain financial market transactions and related netting agreements in the event of insurer insolvency.

Changes to the Banking Law and Related Chapters

Chapter 448 (A.8156) – Wildcard Legislation
Adopted Effective August 17, 2011

Chapter 448 expedites the consideration of wild card applications by mandating that with respect to a properly submitted application the Department  must determine that it meets the requirements of Section 12-a of the Banking Law,  post it on  its website and  make it  available for public consideration within 120 days of their receipt. The Bill also requires the Superintendent to notify applicants within 10 days of making a determination on an application.

Chapter 182 (A.8105) – Banking Law Clarification
Adopted Effective July 20, 2011, except as noted below

Chapter 182 amends various sections of the Banking Law  to clarify, among other things, the confidentiality of supervisory information and  the treatment of credit extensions and other credit exposures by a bank or trust company to one person or entity It also deletes  references in the Banking Law to credit rating agencies and rated securities. The provisions relating to credit rating agencies are effective upon adoption of regulations by the Superintendent.

Chapter 484 (S.5478) - Banking Development Districts
Adopted Effective August 17, 2011

Chapter 484 extends for an additional five years the provisions of Chapter 526 of 1998, which authorize savings institutions to participate in the Banking Development District Program.

Chapter 593 (S.4038) – Home Improvement Contractors
Adopted Effective January 12, 2012

This legislation prohibits home improvement contractors from acting on behalf of mortgage brokers.

Chapter 449 (A.8157) – Bank Holding Companies
Adopted Effective August 18, 2011

Chapter 449 makes technical changes to Chapter 217 of the Laws of 2010 with respect to the definition of bank holding company in the Banking Law. It restores the prior definition of bank holding company as two or more banking institutions. The reason for  the change  is to preserve  home office protection for the principal offices of subsidiaries of one-bank holding companies.

Chapter 342 (S.4530B) – Information Subpoenas
Adopted Effective September 2, 2011

This Bill establishes a mechanism to enforce the reasonable belief standard in existing law when information subpoenas are served. Specifically, the Bill requires that  a judgment creditor, or  its agent, is required to  maintain records    setting forth the grounds   for the reasonable belief that the person served with the subpoena has information about the judgment debtor. The Bill also establishes a cause of action against creditors or their agents for failure to maintain such records.