Legislative Update - July 2019
Highlights from the Texas 86th Legislative Session
Surprise Medical Bills
"Balance billing" occurs when a consumer receives a bill from an out-of-network provider for the difference between the amount charged and the amount paid by the health plan and is a bill on top of the consumer's normal cost-sharing amounts. Though a variety of bills were filed on this subject matter, SB 1264 by Sen. Hancock/Rep Oliverson is the vehicle that passed and was signed by the Governor.

Medical bill and health insurance form with calculator
Equipping Teachers With Options to Supplement Pensions
HB 2820 by Rep. Flynn/Sen. Hughes passed and was signed by the Governor. The bill eliminates duplicative regulation and places the authority over 403(b)s with the agency with expertise in this area, the Department of Insurance and allows TRS, which had limited funds and expertise to comply with these duties, to fully dedicate itself to its primary mission.

403b Plan and money on a table. Retirement.
Named Driver Bill
HB 259 by Rep. Thompson, known as the "Named Driver Bill," passed the House for the third session in a row with overwhelming support. This bill had never received a hearing in the Senate, but this session, the Chair of the Business & Commerce Committee, Sen. Hancock, carried the bill, where it passed. HB 259 prohibits named driver policies but allows insurers to add an endorsement to a policy that excludes coverage for a driver specifically named in the endorsement.

Personal Financial Literacy
NAIFA-Texas members work on a consistent basis with consumers who are preparing for their futures. Having a base-level understanding of financial literacy about these important life decisions is essential to this process and we are fervent supporters of Texans gaining this knowledge base earlier in life to start off on the right foot in making educated, sound financial decisions.

There were twp companion bills - SB 686 by Sen. Alvarado and HB 1182 by Rep. Goodwin - that stood to make significant strides toward giving young adults this foundation of knowledge by requiring students to take a half credit hour of personal financial literacy or economics in order to graduate from public high school in Texas.

Financial Literacy written on a notepad sheet. Education concept.
Texas Windstorm Insurance Association
NAIFA-Texas supports the goals of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association ("TWIA") Sunset legislation, SB 615 by Sen. Buckingham and Rep. Paddie, which was signed by the Governor. SB 615 establishes a process for automatic renewal of policies and acceptance of certain payment methods; formally authorizes TWIA to provide supplemental payments; determines replacement cost at effective date of policy rather than at the time of properly loss; and transfers the issuance of certificates of compliance from TWIA to the Texas Department of Insurance. Next Sunset date for TWIA is 2031.