BEFORE THE COMMISSIONER OF SECURITIES AND INSURANCE
MONTANA STATE AUDITOR
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On June 11, 2015, the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance (CSI), Montana State Auditor, published MAR Notice No. 6-216 pertaining to the public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules at page 689 of the 2015 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 11.
2. The CSI has amended ARM 6.6.507B, 6.6.507C, 6.6.507E, 6.6.511, and 6.6.511A exactly as proposed.
3. On July 1, 2015, a public hearing was held on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules. Comments were received by the July 9, 2015, deadline.
4. The CSI has thoroughly considered the comments and testimony received. A summary of the comments received and the responses are as follows:
COMMENT NO. 1: The commenter supported the guaranteed issue enrollment period as proposed. The commenter also encouraged the creation of an annual open enrollment period with guaranteed issue for all Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in supplement policies.
RESPONSE NO. 1: The commissioner recognizes that annual open enrollment periods with guaranteed issue would allow more Medicare beneficiaries to purchase supplement policies. However, this amendment only seeks to correct a drafting error in the original rule that denied a guaranteed issue enrollment period to disabled individuals under age 65 who enrolled in Medicare before October 18, 2013. The commissioner believes creating an annual enrollment period with guaranteed issue is beyond the scope of this amendment.
COMMENT NO. 2: The commenter supported the guaranteed issue enrollment period as proposed. The commenter also requested a second guaranteed issue enrollment period for individuals who missed their guaranteed issue period at age 65.
RESPONSE NO. 2: The commissioner recognizes that there may be many reasons why an individual might miss their guaranteed issue enrollment period. However, this amendment only seeks to correct the previously noted drafting error. The commissioner believes creating a second guaranteed issue period for those over age 65 is beyond the scope of this amendment.
COMMENT NO. 3: One commenter requested amendments to the rule to change "Medicare supplement" to "Medigap." The commenter noted that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) frequently uses the term "Medigap" to describe Medicare supplement policies.
RESPONSE NO. 3: The commissioner recognizes the value of mirroring CMS's language. The commissioner believes updating the rules to use "Medigap" instead of "Medicare supplement" is beyond the scope of this amendment.
COMMENT NO. 4: Two commenters supported the amendment as written. One commenter noted the guaranteed issue enrollment period would allow individuals to avoid spending down assets to become Medicaid eligible. Access to Medicare supplement plans would also reduce strain on state Medicaid funds.
RESPONSE NO. 4: The commissioner agrees that the amendment's increased access to Medicare supplement policies will provide an alternative to Medicaid, which benefits both individuals with disabilities and state taxpayers. The CSI thanks and appreciates the commenters for providing feedback throughout the entire rules process.
/s/ Nick Mazanec /s/ Jesse Laslovich
Nick Mazanec Jesse Laslovich
Rule Reviewer Chief Legal Counsel
Certified to the Secretary of State July 20, 2015.