2007 legislative summary

Issues relating to health insurance and to coverage of health needs were particularly prominent in the 2007 session of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. Major legislation included a requirement that health insurers provide consumers with advance estimates of costs for certain medical procedures, an expansion of the small employer group pools to a maximum of 50 employees, public access to health insurance rate filings, and several mandated health insurance benefits.

Topics addressed in other areas of insurance include the regulation of variable annuities as securities, and the expansion of recovery available under motor vehicle liability insurance policies when a public body is at fault or when a family member is injured.

Other bills of interest are those that will expedite the review and approval of policy forms for life insurance, annuities and disability insurance; reduce minimum group membership requirements for life insurance; enact the Oregon Consumer Theft Protection Act; and eliminate the guaranty contract requirement for workers’ compensation insurance.

Of general interest is legislation providing for the licensing and regulation of discount medical plan organizations and for a warranty program for vehicle theft protection products. Of interest to domestic insurers is legislation affecting residency requirements for members of an insurer’s board of directors.