PIA of Louisiana's 72nd Annual Convention
July 25-28, 2015 • Perdido Beach Resort
Orange Beach, AL
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Special Obamacare Enrollment Period Announced

A special enrollment period will begin March 15 and end April 30 to help consumers avoid tax penalties for not obtaining health insurance coverage this year. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the special enrollment period for individuals and families who did not have health coverage in 2014 and are subject to the fee or "shared responsibility payment" when they file their 2014 taxes in states which use the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFM). The special enrollment period applies to people in the 37 states covered by the federal marketplace, though some state-run exchanges are also expected to follow suit.

For those who were unaware or didn't understand the implications of the fee for not enrolling in coverage, CMS will provide consumers with an opportunity to purchase health insurance coverage from March 15 to April 30. If consumers do not purchase coverage for 2015 during this special enrollment period, they may have to pay a fee when they file their 2015 income taxes. Consumers seeking to take advantage of the special enrollment period can find out if they are eligible by visiting https://www.healthcare.gov/get-coverage.

A Message from FloodSmart: Prepare Your Clients
Now for April 1 Program Changes

As you may know, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is implementing a new law that slows some flood insurance rate increases and offers financial relief to some policyholders who experienced steep flood premium increases in 2013 and early 2014. Known as the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA), the new legislation also continues efforts begun in 2012 to align insurance rates more closely with risk. As a result, beginning April 1, 2015, some rating options will change, flood insurance rates will increase (or decrease), and other charges will be revised or added. The changes will affect new and existing policies.

It is important to inform your clients of the changes so they are not caught off guard should they experience a higher-than-expected premium increase. Before April 1, FloodSmart will be emailing you a series of news alerts with information you can share with your clients to help prepare them for the rate increases and other charges resulting from the legislation.

These weekly alerts will extend through March and cover such topics as premium increases and increase caps, Reserve Fund charges and a new HFIAA surcharge, implications for properties newly mapped, and new fees and deductibles.

Please be on the lookout for these alerts and share them with your colleagues. Meanwhile, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Flood Insurance Reform webpages and read related WYO Bulletins.

Upcoming PIA Events
03/03/2015 -- Northeast Chapter Meeting

03/04/2015 -- New Orleans Chapter Meeting

03/05/2015 -- Northwest Chapter Meeting

03/10/2015 -- CPIA-2 Implement For Success
(Baton Rouge, LA)

03/12/2015 -- Professional Dev. Day- Flood & Ethics Classes- Agent Registration
(Lake Charles, LA)

03/12/2015 -- Professional Development Day - Company/Exhibitor Registration
(Lake Charles, LA)

03/17/2015 -- CISR Commercial Casualty-1

03/17/2015 -- Acadiana Chapter Meeting with Flood CE

03/18/2015 -- CISR Commercial Casualty-1
(Baton Rouge, LA)

03/18/2015 -- Flood Class
(Shreveoprt, LA)

Virtual Exhibit Hall

Check out our
Virtual Exhibit Hall

PIA to Represent Agents At NCOIL Meeting This Week

PIA will be representing independent agents at the spring meeting of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) starting February 27 in Charleston, South Carolina. State legislators from across the country will consider proposals and discuss many key insurance issues, including:

  • Ride-sharing model legislation
  • Producer licensing and the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB)
  • State advocacy on international insurance issues
  • Regulation of professional employer organizations (PEOs)
  • Insurance credit scoring model act
  • P&C insurance guaranty funds model act
  • Cybersecurity and cyber-insurance issues
  • Model legislation regulating roofing contractors

NCOIL is an organization of state legislators whose main area of public policy concern is insurance legislation and regulation. Many legislators active in NCOIL either chair or are members of the committees responsible for insurance legislation in their respective state houses across the country. Please contact Jennifer Webb, PIA National Counsel & Director of Regulatory Affairs at jennwe@pianet.org with any questions.

P/C Market Stable in 2015: Wells Fargo

Commercial property and casualty insurance is likely to remain stable and profitable this year, thanks to abundant market capacity and an improving economy, according to the Wells Fargo Insurance 2015 Insurance Market Outlook. Rates for primary general liability, auto liability, and workers' compensation are expected to fall between 5 percent and 10 percent. Premium reductions are expected to be significant among almost all property classes, while professional risk markets will see stable or improved pricing in 2015.

PIA Joins 391 Groups Urging No More Farm Bill Cuts

PIA National has signed a letter to Congress along with 391 other organizations urging that the 2014 Farm Bill not be re-opened for additional cuts during the 2016 budget process.

"The 2014 Farm Bill required over three years of debate in both chambers of Congress and ultimately ended with the consolidation of over 100 programs and cuts to mandatory spending across many titles, including the elimination of the direct payment program," the letter states in part. "These cuts came in addition to those already in effect due to sequestration."

The groups state that the bipartisan 2014 Farm Bill legislation was estimated to contribute $23 billion to deficit reduction and that no additional cuts should be considered.

Thanks to Our 2015 PIA Partners:

Americas Insurance Company

American Strategic Insurance (ASI)

Capital Premium Financing

Markel FirstComp

LCTA Workers' Comp

LUBA Workers' Comp

Prime Rate

Stonetrust Commercial Ins. Co.

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