H. B. 2269
(By Delegate Caputo)
[Introduced January 12, 2011; referred to the
Committee on Banking and Insurance then Government Organization.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §33-2-21 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to giving the Insurance Commissioner the power to regulate and penalize self-insured employers.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §33-2-21 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. INSURANCE COMMISSIONER.
§33-2-21. Authority of Insurance Commissioner to regulate Workers’ Compensation industry and self-insured employers; authority of Insurance Commissioner to administer chapter twenty-three of the Code of West Virginia.
(a) Upon the termination of the Workers' Compensation Commission pursuant to chapter twenty-three of this code, the powers and duties heretofore imposed upon the Workers' Compensation Commission as they relate to general administration of the provisions of said chapter are hereby transferred to and imposed upon the Insurance Commissioner.
(b) Unless otherwise specified in chapter twenty-three of this code, upon termination of the Workers' Compensation Commission, the duties imposed upon the Workers' Compensation Commission as they relate to the award and payment of disability and death benefits and the review of claims in articles four and five of said that chapter will be imposed upon the Employers Mutual Insurance Company established pursuant to article two-c of said that chapter, a private carrier offering Workers' Compensation insurance in this state and self-insured employers. Whenever reference is made to the Workers' Compensation Commissioner in those articles, the duty prescribed shall apply to the Employers Mutual Insurance Company, a private carrier or self-insured employer, as applicable.
(c) From the effective date of this enactment, the Insurance Commissioner shall regulate all insurers licensed to transact workers' compensation insurance in this state and all of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to such insurers, unless otherwise exempted by statute.
(d) Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of the code the Insurance Commissioner shall regulate all self-insured employers in this state and all of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to such insurers from the effective date of this enactment. Upon notice of noncompliance with a provision of this chapter by the Insurance Commissioner, a self-insured employer shall have ninety days to comply with a provision of this chapter. Thereafter, a noncompliant self-insured employer shall be subject to the penalties of section six, article eleven of this chapter.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to give the Insurance Commissioner the power to regulate and penalize self-insured employers in order to combat the practice of employers neglecting to pay benefits offered under their self-insured plans, resulting in unpaid medical bills which negatively impacts employees’ credit ratings.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.