Hopefully you all had a chance to read our special bulletin that went out regarding our efforts in Indiana lawmaking. In case you missed it, we have provided an additional copy below.
Thank you to the members who have contributed to the ISAHU PAC, your contributions help ISAHU in getting a seat at the legislative table. If you are not currently contributing to ISAHU PAC, please visit ISAHU.org and make an online contribution.
While technically the 2021 legislative session started in January, ISAHU’s lobbying team Torchbearer Public Affairs (TPA), led by Caryl Auslander and David Berman, hit the ground running early in August 2020 to prepare for what was an incredibly busy session. Right from the beginning, ISAHU hosted a legislative briefing with House and Senate Insurance Committee Chairmen, Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) and Sen. Andy Zay (R-Columbia City). We have truly strengthened ISAHU’s relationship with both Chairmen over the past year.
Over the summer, ISAHU members brought up an issue related to continuing education credits, and how it would be extremely helpful to have the ability to “rollover” these extra credits to future license renewals. After some research by TPA, we found that 30+ states in the country allow for this and that the third-party administrator, SIRCON, already does this in many other states. ISAHU shared this idea with Chairman Carbaugh and other members of the respective committees, and he agreed to put ISAHU’s CE rollover language into his omnibus insurance bill, HB 1405.
Another issue was raised shortly thereafter about the desire of legislative leadership to alter long term care (LTC) insurance policies in Indiana. Indiana is one of four original states to participate in an asset protection long term care program (which would not require individuals to go through Medicaid spend down). This program, however, has become very expensive for individuals to purchase, and because of the cost, very few policies are being purchased currently. Forty two other states are currently offering long term care policies known as DRA policies, which are much less expensive but have a dollar for dollar protection as opposed to full asset protection. Many legislators had interest in moving from the asset protection policies to DRA policies and introduced pieces of legislation to do just that. However, once ISAHU became aware of this, we had significant concerns about the Federal government match program being eliminated through this process. Ironically, one of the bills that included this LTC switch was also in HB 1405, which contained our CE language. This created a significant dilemma – how to pursue our CE rollover language (which we supported) while trying to address the LTC language (which we had concerns with) in the same exact bill.
TPA spoke to Chairman Carbaugh at length about our concerns on the LTC language, and he requested to have additional meetings to discuss his legislation. ISAHU spoke with Sen. Grooms (R-Jeffersonville) and Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus) who also introduced similar bills.
A few weeks into session, TPA had a lengthy meeting with Chairman Carbaugh, Senator Greg Walker, and Chairman Zay to discuss concerns regarding the Federal government match – specifically if Indiana made the switch, would we lose that match. IDOI worked to gather data for the legislators, and TPA coordinated the efforts.
When HB 1405 was heard in the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee, TPA testified in support of the CE credit rollover language in the bill and stated that we appreciate the time taken on addressing the long term care language. It passed 7-1.
On Third Reading, the legislation passed through the Senate unanimously, but the House dissented, sending the bill to conference committee (not based on any ISAHU language, but related to other issues in the bill). The final version of the bill included our CE credit rollover language, and amended long term care language that now would allow for the new long term care program to be created IF the Federal government allows for a state plan amendment that would ensure that the asset protection would be grandfathered for existing plans and dollar for dollar match would be kept intact. However, if the Federal government does NOT allow for it, instead of it happening anyway, ISAHU was able to alter the bill language so that any movement to a new plan would NOT happen and would be recommended for an interim study committee topic to be studied instead. The final language passed both the House and Senate, and was signed into law by Governor Eric Holcomb on April 29, 2021. We were successfully able to pursue the CE credit rollover legislation, while fixing the LTC language without harming 40,000 policy holders. We were able to do this due to our strong relationships within the Indiana General Assembly.
While the legislative session is now complete for 2021 (with the exception of a redistricting session likely to come in September), ISAHU and TPA will continue working diligently to build relationships with key legislators across the state, monitor interim study committee topics of interest, and prepare for the upcoming legislative session in January 2022.