Date:November 28, 2006
To:All Insurers Authorized to do Business in Wisconsin
From:Jorge Gomez, Commissioner of Insurance
Subject:2005-2006 Enacted Legislation

This bulletin contains a summary of legislation enacted in the 2005-2006 legislative session. You should review the bulletin and determine which laws apply to your company. This bulletin is for informational purposes and is not to be considered the office's interpretation of these laws. It is highly recommended that the readers of this bulletin obtain copies of those laws determined to be applicable to their situation or operations. You may obtain copies of any legislation from Legislative Documents, 1 East Main Street, Madison, WI 53703, and (608) 266-2400 or through the Legislature's Web page at www.legis.state.wi.us.


Section 185.99 (2) (a), 185.99 (5) (title) and 185.99 (6), Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 30. Health benefit purchasing cooperatives. Removes the statutory language limiting the number of health benefit purchasing cooperatives that may operate in Wisconsin.

The Act became effective on August 30, 2005.


Sections 655.001 (7t), 655.002 (1) (em), 655.005 (2t), 655.23 (5m) and 655.27 (3) (a) 4, Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 36. Provider organizations subject to health care liability requirements. Adds another health care provider that is subject to these provisions and coverage by the IPFCP, namely, any organization or enterprise (other than a partnership or professional service corporation, which are already covered under current law) that is organized and operated in Wisconsin for the primary purpose of providing the medical services of physicians and nurse anesthetists.

The Act's provisions apply to: (a) policies issued or renewed on or after August 30, 2005; (b) policies that are in effect on August 30, 2005, that comply with ch. 655, Wis. Stat. (relating to health care liability and the IPFCF), as affected by the Act, and that cover organizations or enterprises that comply with ch. 655, Wis. Stat., as affected by the Act; (c) claims made under policies issued or renewed on or after August 30, 2005; and (d) claims made under policies that are in effect on August 30, 2005, that comply with ch. 655, Wis. Stat., as affected by the Act, and that cover organizations or enterprises that comply with ch. 655, Wis. Stat., as affected by the Act.


Sections 655.001 (7m) and 655.002 (2) (c), Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 51. Coverage of medical students in the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund. Creates a definition for a graduate medical education program and provides that a graduate medical education program may elect to be subject to the statutory health care liability insurance requirements.

The Act became effective on December 17, 2005.


See generally ch. 149, Wis. Stat., and ss. 601.41 (1), 601.415 (12), 601.64 (1), 601.64 (3) (a), 601.64 (3) (c), 601.64 (4), 613.03 (4), 632.785, Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 74. Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan (HIRSP). Creates the Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan Authority.

The Act has various effective dates, including: (a) creation of the HIRSP Authority, administrator contract provisions, insurer assessment tax credit, and miscellaneous provisions—January 7, 2006; (b) transfer of administration to the HIRSP Authority—July 1, 2006; and (c) plan design provisions—January 1, 2007.


Section 895.507, Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 138. Unauthorized acquisition of personal information. Act 138 requires entities that discover unauthorized acquisition of personally identifiable information in their possession to notify the affected customers. Certain entities are exempted from these requirements.

The Act became effective on March 31, 2006.


See generally ch. 102, Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 172. Worker's compensation law changes. Act 172 makes various changes to the worker's compensation law.

The act became effective April 6, 2006. Some provisions, however, are effective retroactively to January 1, 2006, while other sections do not become applicable until January 1, 2007.


Sections 655.017, 893.55 (1), 893.55 (1d), 893.55 (2), 893.55 (3), 893.55 (4) (b), 893.55 (4) (d), and 893.55 (4) (d) 2, Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 183. Recovery of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. Act 183 creates a limit of $750,000 on non-economic damages for each occurrence of medical malpractice. This limit applies to malpractice acts or omissions occurring on or after the effective date.

The Act became effective on April 6, 2006.


Sections 40.51 (8), 66.0137 (4), 120.13 (2) (g), 185.981 (4t), 185.983 (1) (intro.), 632.855 (2) (intro.) 632.855 (3), and 632.855 (3) (bm), 632.87 (1), and 632.87 (6), Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 194. Coverage of certain health care costs in cancer clinical trials. Prohibits a health care policy, plan, or contract from excluding coverage for the cost of any routine patient care that is administered to an insured in a cancer clinical trial satisfying certain criteria (as discussed below) and that would be covered under the policy, plan, or contract if the insured were not enrolled in a cancer clinical trial.

The Act applies to insurance policies issued or renewed on or after November 1, 2006, and self-insured health plans of the state, county, city, village, town, or school district, established, extended, modified, or renewed on or after November 1, 2006. However, if an insurance policy covers employees under a collective bargaining agreement containing provisions inconsistent with the Act, the Act first applies to a policy issued or renewed on the earlier of: (a) the date the collective bargaining agreement expires; or (b) the date the collective bargaining agreement is extended, modified, or renewed. If a self-insured plan covers employees under a collective bargaining agreement containing provisions inconsistent with the Act, the Act first applies to a plan established, extended, modified, or renewed on the earlier of: (a) the date the collective bargaining agreement expires; or (b) the date the collective bargaining agreement is extended, modified, or renewed.


Section 943.38 (3) (f), Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 205. Falsifying title insurance documents. Specifies that anyone who falsely makes or alters a title insurance commitment, a title insurance policy, or any other written evidence regarding the state of title to real estate with intent to defraud is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

The Act became effective on April 11, 2006.


Sections 185.99 (2) (b), 185.99 (2) (c) 2., 185.99 (4) (a) (intro.), 185.99 (4) (b), 185.99 (4) (c), 635.02 (7), and 635.02 (7) (b), Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 231. Group health plans offered by cooperatives. Provides that a health benefit purchasing cooperative under s. 185.99, Wis. Stat., that provides health care benefits for more than 50 individuals who are members or employees of one or more cooperative members is not a small employer subject to ch. 635, Wis. Stat. Also provides that a member of a cooperative as described above is not a small employer.

The Act became effective on April 13, 2006.


Sections 600.03 (37m), 609.01 (2), 616.09 (1) (c) 1, Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 441. Unincorporated cooperative associations. Act 441 authorizes the creation of a new type of business organization called an unincorporated cooperative association.

The Act became effective on June 6, 2006.


Section 73.14, various changes to chs. 179-183, Wis. Stat. WISCONSIN ACT 476. Mergers, acquisitions and other business combinations. Revises provisions in current law relating to mergers, conversions, and other business combinations.

The Act became effective on June 14, 2006.


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:
Section 185.99 (2) (a), 185.99 (5) (title) and 185.99 (6), Wis. Stat.
WISCONSIN ACT 30
Mike Honeck
(608) 266-0097
Section 655.001 (7t), 655.002 (1) (em), 655.005 (2t), 655.23 (5m) and 655.27 (3) (a) 4, Wis. Stat.
WISCONSIN ACT 36
Theresa Wedekind
(608) 266-0953
Sections 655.001 (7m) and 655.002 (2) (c), Wis. Stat.
WISCONSIN ACT 51
Theresa Wedekind
(608) 266-0953
Sections 601.41 (1), 601.415 (12), 601.64 (1), 601.64 (3) (a), 601.64 (3) (c), 601.64 (4), 613.03 (4), 632.785, Wis. Stat.
WISCONSIN ACT 74
Eileen Mallow
(608) 267-1233
Section 895.507, Wis. Stat.
WISCONSIN ACT 138
Guenther Ruch
(608) 266-0295
Sections 655.017, 893.55 (1), 893.55 (1d), 893.55 (2), 893.55 (3), 893.55 (4) (b), 893.55 (4) (d), and 893.55 (4) (d) 2, Wis. Stat.
WISCONSIN ACT 183
Theresa Wedekind
(608) 266-0953
Sections 40.51 (8), 66.0137 (4), 120.13 (2) (g), 185.981 (4t), 185.983 (1) (intro.), 632.855 (2) (intro.), 632.855 (3), and 632.855 (3) (bm), 632.87 (1), and 632.87 (6), Wis. Stat.
WISCONSIN ACT 194
Mike Honeck
(608) 266-0097
Sections 185.99 (2) (b), 185.99 (2) (c) 2., 185.99 (4) (a) (intro.), 185.99 (4) (b), 185.99 (4) (c), 635.02 (7), and 635.02 (7) (b), Wis. Stat.
WISCONSIN ACT 231
Mike Honeck
(608) 266-0097
Sections 600.03 (37m), 609.01 (2), 616.09 (1) (c) 1, Wis. Stat.
WISCONSIN ACT 441
Roger Peterson
(608) 267-4384
Section 73.14, various changes to chs. 179-183, Wis. Stat.
WISCONSIN ACT 476
Roger Peterson
(608) 267-4384