Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

02/16/2016 09:00 AM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
+ Continuing Presentation & Discussion TELECONFERENCED
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 127 Out of Committee
Moved SB 123 Out of Committee
         SB 127-INSURER'S USE OF CREDIT HISTORY/SCORES                                                                      
9:01:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of SB 127.                                                                            
SENATOR HUGGINS  noted that previous  questions by  members would                                                               
be addressed. He referred to  the "Arkansas model" and said about                                                               
34  percent  of  people  benefitted  from  credit  scoring,  38.9                                                               
percent  were held  harmless  and the  remainder  had a  negative                                                               
impact. He  said the Extraordinary Life  Circumstances and Events                                                               
Provision has a large safety net.                                                                                               
9:02:29 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE asked if anyone  wished to testify. Finding no one,                                                               
he closed public testimony.                                                                                                     
9:03:02 AM                                                                                                                    
LAUREN   RASMUSSEN,   Staff,   Senator  Huggins,   Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, offered to review SB 127.                                                                          
CHAIR  STOLTZE requested  that Ms.  Wing-Heier address  questions                                                               
previously asked by committee members.                                                                                          
9:03:51 AM                                                                                                                    
LORI WING-HEIER,  Division of Insurance, Department  of Commerce,                                                               
Community,  and Economic  Development, Juneau,  Alaska, addressed                                                               
questions  related to  SB  127 posed  in  the previous  committee                                                               
meeting. She said a question was  asked whether credit is used to                                                               
assess individual  health insurance policies. She  explained that                                                               
credit  scoring  is  not  allowed as  a  factor  in  underwriting                                                               
individual  health insurance  under  the Affordable  Care Act  or                                                               
under state law. Senator Wielechowski  had asked about the impact                                                               
of credit  scoring on low income  individuals and in the  case of                                                               
race.  She reported  that  some data  has  shown that  low-income                                                               
individuals have  been impacted to  some extent. She  stated that                                                               
there  is not  enough data  to show  that race  is a  factor. She                                                               
cited several studies that agreed on those results.                                                                             
9:05:42 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STOLTZE  said there  was  a  zero-fiscal note  which  will                                                               
reduce the department's work load. He requested clarification.                                                                  
MS.  WING-HEIER explained  that the  zero-fiscal note  reflects a                                                               
reduced  work load  due to  consumer and  broker calls  regarding                                                               
credit scoring.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  noted  complaints and  concerns  from  the                                                               
insurance industry on consumer rate  increases upon renewal, even                                                               
for those  with good  credit. He pointed  out that  the insurance                                                               
company can waive that provision.                                                                                               
MS.  WING-HEIER answered  correct, but  specified that  the issue                                                               
has  been finding  a  new  insurer or  having  to  do the  waiver                                                               
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  summarized that  the insurance  company can                                                               
offer the waiver.                                                                                                               
MS. WING-HEIER answered correct.                                                                                                
CHAIR  STOLTZE asked  for the  administration's  position on  the                                                               
MS. WING-HEIER said the administration is neutral.                                                                              
9:08:37 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  moved to  report  SB  127 from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations  and attached zero-fiscal  note. There                                                               
being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                         
9:08:47 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STOLTZE  announced  that without  objection,  SB  127  was                                                               
reported from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.