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LTCI prompt-pay bills advance in Washington state

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Washington state lawmakers have been moving quickly to consider bills that could set new, tougher standards for payment of long-term care insurance (LTCI) claims.

Lawmakers are changing the state’s LTCI prompt-pay statute to reflect changes in a model law developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Members of the state Senate recently voted 49-0 to pass one LTCI prompt-pay bill, S.B. 5216. The House Health Care & Wellness Committee expects to consider the bill in an executive session this week.

Members of the state House passed a companion bill, H.B. 1441, with a 98-0 vote. The Senate Health Care Committee held a hearing on that bill March 18.

Both bills would cut the time an LTCI insurer has to pay a clean claim to 30 days, from 60 days.

The state insurance commissioner also would have to adopt LTCI prompt-payment regulations that include a definition of a “claim” and a definition of “clean claim” based on consideration of the NAIC model standards.

The bill would take effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill was passed.

Representatives from the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) have joined representatives from AARP and the insurance commissioner’s office in testifying in support of the bills.

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