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February 07, 2008

MN Update 2006

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2006 Minnesota Insurance Legislative Update

Homeowners Insurance
A new law effective August 1, 2006 , provides that a homeowner's insurance does not cover losses for homes that provide foster care for adults unless the policy specifically covers it.  Furthermore, the law would prohibit an insurer from refusing to issue or renew homeowner's insurance because the property covered is used to provide adult foster care for five or fewer residents.

Omnibus Commerce Department Insurance Bill.
Effective August 1, 2006, law changes include a new law that will regulate licensee education, certain insurance forms, rates, coverage, filings and reporting and utilization reviews and claims.

Under the new law, health insurers may use premium rates without prior approval for the Department of Commerce if they guarantee that their products produce a minimum annual loss ratio of 65 percent.  If their annual loss ratio is lower, they will be required to refund or credit individual policy holders in the amount necessary to bring it up to the guaranteed minimum .

The law defines two new Medicare supplement plans offering 50% coverage or 75% coverage.

Workers' Comp Faxing.
Effective August 1, 2006, a new law will allow for fax filing of a notice of appeal to the workers' compensation court.

Liability Claims Limited.
Another new law limits state and municipal tort liability damage awards in such a way that claims brought against two or more government entities involved in a joint venture may not exceed the limits on governmental liability for a single governmental unit.

Prescription Drug Costs.
A new law provides continuing coverage for Minnesotans who had difficulty getting their prescriptions because of problems with the new federal prescription drug benefit.  Now the state will seek federal reimbursement.

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