Date:April 28, 2008
To:All Insurers Authorized to do Business in Wisconsin
From:Sean Dilweg, Commissioner of Insurance
Subject:Newly Enacted Legislation--2007 Wisconsin Acts 168, 169, 170, 185 and 189

This bulletin contains a summary of the provisions of 2007 Wisconsin Acts 168, 169, 170, 185, and 189. Please review this bulletin and determine which laws apply to your company. This bulletin is for informational purposes and is not the office's interpretation of these laws. It is recommended that copies of applicable laws be obtained. Copies of any legislation are available from Legislative Documents, 1 East Main Street, Madison, WI 53703, and (608) 266-2400 or through the Legislature's Web site at www.legis.state.wi.us.


2007 WISCONSIN ACT 168

Sections 14.82, and 601.58, Wis. Stat., Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact. Enacts the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact (the Compact) in Wisconsin. The Compact enables OCI to join the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission (IIPRC). The IIPRC will develop uniform standards for insurance products in the lines of life, disability income, annuities, and long-term care insurance, as well as standards for long-term care insurance marketing. The IIPRC establishes a central clearinghouse to receive and review insurance products covered under the compact and, in certain cases, related advertisements submitted by insurers authorized to do business in one or more compacting states. Insurers who have filed products with the IIPRC along with a statement of intent to use the products in Wisconsin and received approval will now be able to market those products in Wisconsin provided the insurer has a certificate of authority in this state for the appropriate line of insurance. Further information about the IIPRC is available at http://www.insurancecompact.org/.

The provisions of Act 168 related to the Compact and the IIPRC first apply on or after March 28, 2008.

Section 628.347, Wis. Stat., Suitability of annuity sales to consumers. Act 168 amends s. 628.347, Wis. Stat., to make the statute applicable to annuity sales to all individuals. Prior to Act 168 this section applied only to annuity sales to individuals age 65 or older.

These changes first apply to annuity contracts issued on or after October 1, 2008. However, an insurer may elect to comply with the changes to s. 628.347, Wis. Stat., with annuity contracts issued on or after March 28, 2008.

Section 631.20, Wis. Stat., and related statutes. Filing and Approval of Forms. Act 168 exempts certain insurance policy forms from receiving prior approval before their use. Insurers may now use certain policy forms if the insurer complies with all of the following: files the form with the Commissioner 30 days prior to its use; files the form in the manner and format, and with the attachments, prescribed by the Commissioner; and certifies that the form complies with chs. 600 to 655, Wis. Stat., and rules promulgated under chs. 600 to 655, Wis. Stat. The Commissioner is authorized to disapprove or order forms into compliance where noncompliance is noted.

The changes to s. 631.20, Wis. Stat., do not apply to health care liability policy forms issued under s. 655.24, Wis. Stat., worker's compensation policy forms, Medicare supplement policy forms, long-term care insurance policy forms (including nursing home and home-health care policy forms); policy forms filed by the Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan Authority, warranty contracts, forms containing arbitration clauses unless the clause is approved by rule, and other forms the Commissioner has directed an insurer to file for approval through order or administrative rule.

These changes in Act 168 apply to the filing and approval of policy forms on or after July 1, 2008.

OCI will publish a more detailed bulletin regarding the policy forms that are still subject to prior approval by the Commissioner at a later time.


2007 WISCONSIN ACT 169

Sections 628.10 (2) (a), 628.10 (2) (am), 628.10 (2) (c), 628.10 (2) (cm) and 628.10 (5), Wis. Stat., Insurance Agent Suspensions and Revocations. Act 169 reforms the license suspension/revocation and reinstatement process for insurance agents that encounter license renewal problems related to fee payments, continuing education, failure to pay child support, and failure to pay delinquent taxes. Under previous law, if an agent failed to fulfill the foregoing requirements, the agent was subject to the following actions:

  • The license was suspended.
  • If the agent produced evidence of compliance within 60 days of suspension, the license was reinstated.
  • If the agent failed to produce evidence of compliance within 60 days, the license was revoked.
  • If the agent produced evidence of compliance within 10 months after the revocation, the license was reinstated.
  • If the agent failed to cure the deficiency within the 10 months after revocation, the agent would be required to reapply, take prelicensing education and retest.

The revised process resulting from Act 169 is:

  • OCI notifies the agent of compliance due date.
  • If the agent fails to file evidence of compliance by the due date, the license is revoked.
  • An agent whose license is revoked for failure to make license fee renewal payments on time, failure to complete continuing education requirements, failure to pay child support, and failure to pay delinquent taxes may have the license reinstated if evidence of compliance and a reinstatement application and fee is submitted within 12 months of the date of revocation.

The change removes the suspension period in the statute. If the agent fails to produce evidence of compliance within 12 months, the agent must reapply for licensure and complete prelicensing education and test.

Section 628.10 (2) (e), Wis. Stat., Change of residence. Act 169 establishes that an agent who is no longer a resident of Wisconsin will have their resident license revoked 60 days after changing their state of residence. An agent who changes their residence from the state of Wisconsin but still wishes to be licensed in Wisconsin must apply for a nonresident license. Similarly, an agent licensed as a nonresident in Wisconsin and who changes their resident state will have their nonresident license revoked 60 days after changing their state of residence and will have to reapply for a nonresident license.

Agent Fee reductions. Act 169 repeals s. 601.31 (1) (Lm), Wis. Stat., duplicate license fee; repeals s. 601.31 (1) (u), Wis. Stat., agent letter of certification fee; and repeals s. 601.31 (1) (v), Wis. Stat., agent letter of clearance fee.

The changes in Act 169 apply to actions occurring on or after April 9, 2008.


2007 WISCONSIN ACT 170

Act 170 makes numerous changes to insurance law including:

Sections 76.68 (2) and (4), Wis. Stat., License; issuance; and collection of fees. Act 170 amends s. 76.68 (2), Wis. Stat., to clarify that any action to recover any license fee or tax must be brought in the circuit court for Dane County within six months from the time of payment and that this is the exclusive remedy for recovery of any license or fee required under s. 601.31, Wis. Stat.

Section 600.03 (25) (a) 4, Wis. Stat., Stop-loss coverage. Act 170 clarifies that stop-loss coverage is insurance.

Section 601.465, Wis. Stat., Privileges against disclosure of certain records. Act 170 clarifies existing privilege where the Commissioner may refuse to disclose certain records or testimony or may waive the privilege.

Section 611.26, Wis. Stat., Insurer investment in subsidiaries. Act 170 clarifies an existing statutory limitation that allows a 10% aggregate investment of domestic stock and mutual insurance companies in subsidiaries other than insurance subsidiaries, investment subsidiaries or ancillary subsidiaries, such as insurance agencies, securities dealers, investment companies, financial advisors, etc.

Section 611.72 (2), Wis. Stat., Commissioner approval of insurer mergers. Act 170 removes a restriction placed on insurer mergers that required the Commissioner's approval of the merger before the merger can be submitted to shareholders.

Section 631.61, Wis. Stat., Method of providing certificates. Act 170 creates an alternative delivery method for delivering certificates of health insurance coverage permitting insurers to make certificates available electronically through the internet or through the policyholder's (employer's) network Web site, providing the employer gives the employee ample information on accessing the certificate, provides notice of changes to the certificate and provides certificate holders with a paper copy of the certificate, if requested.

Section 632.07, Wis. Stat., Prohibiting lenders from requiring of borrowers property insurance coverage in excess of the replacement value of the mortgaged property. Act 170 prohibits a lender from requiring, as a condition of obtaining a loan secured by real property, the borrower obtain property insurance in excess of the value of the improvements. If a lender places a condition on obtaining a mortgage in violation of this statute, a complaint should be filed with the Commissioner.

Section 632.745 (18) (b), Wis. Stat., Definition of late enrollee. Act 170 clarifies that an eligible employee or an eligible employee's dependent who enrolls in a group health benefit plan outside a typical enrollment period shall not be considered a late enrollee if he or she previously declined coverage under the group health benefit plan because he or she had other health insurance coverage. This change is necessary so that Wisconsin Statutes conform to the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requirements.

Chapter 646, Wis. Stat., Wisconsin Insurance Security Fund (Fund) changes. Act 170 moves several Fund board of directors provisions from the Wisconsin Administrative Code to the Wisconsin Statutes and changes the number of insurer representatives on the Fund board from between 7 and 14 members to between 9 and 11 members. Insurer representatives are appointed by the Commissioner on recommendation by the board. It also permits insurer representatives to designate an alternative representative.

Act 170 sets the deadline for filing a claim against the Fund to 18 months after an order of liquidation is entered if that order does not specify a deadline.

Act 170 also establishes a rate of interest or crediting rate on benefit payments under certain covered contracts to a rate based on Moody's average rate or the contract's guaranteed rate.

Act 170 changes the assessment base for life and health insurance companies to a percentage of average annual premiums for the 3 most recent years preceding the year of the liquidation order.

Act 170 clarifies that prepaid health care coverage through a contract with the Department of Health and Family Services is among the types of insurance or insurance type products that are not covered by the Fund.

2007 Wisconsin Act 170 becomes effective April 9, 2008.

The treatment of ss. 646.13 (3) (d), 646.33 (3), 646.35 (4) (a) and (b) and (6) (c) 1. (intro.), a. and b. and 2. (intro.), a. and b., and 646.51 (3) (am) (intro.) and (b) and (4) (a), Wis. Stat., the renumbering and amendment of s. 646.31 (11), Wis. Stat., and the creation of s. 646.31 (11) (a) and (c), Wis. Stat., first apply to insurance company liquidations commenced or pending on or after the effective date of this subsection.

The treatment of s. 632.07, Wis. Stat., first applies to property insurance coverage required by a lender on or after the effective date of this subsection.

The treatment of s. 76.68 (2) and (4), Wis. Stat., first applies to fees, taxes and assessments that are due and payable on or after the effective date of this subsection.


2007 WISCONSIN ACT 185

2007 Wisconsin Act 185 makes various clarifications and changes to the Worker's Compensation Act, Chapter 102, administered by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

Sections 102.29 and 102.315, Wis. Stat. Among its other provisions, Act 185 creates s. 102.315, Wis. Stat., relating to worker's compensation policies of employee leasing companies (ELC). It requires the issuance of "multiple coordinated policies" for worker's compensation insurance, except for small clients of ELCs whose premium is not large enough for experience rating and may continue to be insured under an ELC's "master policy." Section 102.315, Wis. Stat., also provides additional requirements for the notice of cancellation, nonrenewal and termination of multiple coordinated policies and master policies.

Act 185 takes effect on April 1, 2008. The liability provisions in ss. 102.29 (6m) and 102.315, Wis. Stat., (2), (3), (4), (5), and (6), first apply to injuries occurring on or after the effective date of the sections. For premiums, the treatment of s. 102.315 (9), Wis. Stat., first applies to a worker's compensation insurance policy issued, or extended, modified, or renewed, on or after the effective date of this paragraph. The treatment of s. 102.315 (10), Wis. Stat., first applies to a worker's compensation insurance policy insuring liability whose cancellation or termination date is 30 days after the effective date of this paragraph or whose nonrenewal date is 60 days after the effective date of this paragraph.


2007 WISCONSIN ACT 189

Wisconsin Act 189 creates ch. 461, Wis. Stat. Chapter 461, Wis. Stat., requires professional employer organizations (PEO) operating in Wisconsin to be registered with the Department of Regulation and Licensing (DRL) and must demonstrate certain financial capability. Chapter 461, Wis. Stat., also provides for disciplinary proceedings authorized by DRL for any violations.

Wisconsin Act 189 provides that a PEO that offers, markets, sells, administers, or provides professional employer services that include the provision of employee benefit plans for the employees of the professional employer organization or professional employer group performing services for a client, is not engaged in the business or sale of insurance or in the business of an employee benefit plan administrator under ch. 633, Wis. Stat. The Act requires that if a PEO provides life insurance, health benefits, or disability income benefits, the PEO shall fully insure payment of those benefits by having in force a plan or policy of insurance issued by an insurer authorized to do business in this state. Additionally, subject to any eligibility requirements imposed by the plan or policy, the insurer shall accept and insure all employees of the PEO performing services for a client and all beneficiaries of those employees.

Act 189 also provides that an insurer that contracts with a PEO with more than 50 employees performing services for one or more clients is not a small employer insurer as defined in s. 635.02 (8), Wis. Stat.

Act 189 takes effect on July 1, 2009.


PERSONS TO CONTACT FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

If you have questions, please put them in writing and address them to the appropriate contact person listed below:

Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact Susan Ezalarab
sue.ezalarab@wisconsin.gov
Policy Form File and Use ChangesLife - Mike Honeck
mike.honeck@wisconsin.gov

Health - Diane Dambach
diane.dambach@wisconsin.gov

Property/Casualty - Rhonda Peterson
rhonda.peterson@wisconsin.gov
  • Suitability of annuity sales
  • Stop-loss coverage
  • Method of providing certificates of health insurance coverage
  • Definition of late enrollee
Mike Honeck
mike.honeck@wisconsin.gov
Agent LicensingLaurna Landphier
laurna.landphier@wisconsin.gov
Sections 76.68 (2) and (4), Wis. Stat., License; issuance; and collection of feesFred Thornton
fred.thornton@wisconsin.gov
  • Insurer investment in subsidiaries
  • Commissioner approval of mergers
Roger Peterson
roger.peterson@wisconsin.gov