Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes various changes to insurance laws, including correcting certain
Under the bill, the commissioner of insurance may issue an order that declares
a domestic fraternal that has undergone a certain financial event specified in the bill
to be in a hazardous condition. The commissioner may then order the fraternal to
remedy the event, and the order may include authorization to negotiate to transfer
all of its members, insurance certificates, and other assets and liabilities to another
fraternal or insurer. The transfer is considered to be a novation of the insurance
certificates effective on the date of transfer. The fraternal must ensure the transfer
is concluded within the time specified by the commissioner and subject to approval
by the commissioner. Though other law may require notice to or approval by the
fraternal's members or supreme governing body, a transfer agreement under the bill
is considered to be fully approved by the fraternal upon a majority vote of the
fraternal's board of directors. If the fraternal seeks to transfer to an organization
that does not have authority to transact insurance business in Wisconsin, the
commissioner may grant a limited certificate of authority for the organization to
service the existing insurance certificates and fulfill obligations to certificate holders
following the transfer.
The bill adds the following to current law grounds for rehabilitation or
liquidation of an insurer: failure by a domestic fraternal to comply with a
commissioner's order related to the financial event and failure by a domestic
fraternal to remedy the hazardous condition within the time specified by the
commissioner. The bill, however, specifies that unless the commissioner reasonably
believes that rehabilitation of the fraternal has a high probability of returning the
fraternal to long-term viability or will facilitate transfer to another fraternal or
insurer, rehabilitation of the fraternal is presumed to be futile and to serve no useful
purpose. After a petition for liquidation of a fraternal is filed, the fraternal may not
assess payment of shares of a deficiency, unless the commissioner determines the
assessment is for the purpose of satisfying obligations to creditors. Liquidation of
domestic fraternals must be conducted consistent with the purposes of the current
law purpose of enhancing efficiency and economy of liquidation, through clarification
and specification of the law, to minimize legal uncertainty and litigation in a manner
designed to conserve assets, limit liquidation expenses, and avoid any assessment
of shares of a deficiency.
A liquidator of a fraternal under the bill must attempt to transfer insurance
policies or certificates by assignment, assumption, or another means to another
qualified fraternal, or if no qualified fraternal will accept the transfer, to an insurer
authorized to sell life insurance in Wisconsin. Upon transfer to an insurer, each
member of the transferring fraternal and owner of an insurance policy or certificate
being transferred is considered to agree that any terms of the policy or certificate that
provide for the fraternal's solvency or that subject the policy or certificate to the
fraternal's policies are null and void and to agree to any other changes in terms that
are determined by the liquidator to be necessary to effectuate the transfer.
Under current law, a fraternal organization that issues insurance policies and
that has an impaired financial position may apportion the deficiency among
members of the fraternal. This bill specifies that the assessment of the share of the
deficiency may not take effect sooner than 90 days after the date the commissioner
of insurer is notified of the assessment, unless the commissioner specifies an earlier
date. The bill also allows the commissioner to disapprove the assessment if the
commissioner finds that the assessment does not conform with the law or is contrary
to the interest of the fraternal's members.
Injured patients and families compensation fund
Under current law, the injured patients and families compensation fund pays
excess medical malpractice claims and other amounts. Certain health care providers
who are covered by the compensation fund must pay an annual assessment to the
compensation fund in an amount calculated under formulas in current law. When
calculating the fees assessed to physicians, current law requires the commissioner
to provide for not more than four payment classifications, based upon the amount of
surgery performed and the risk of diagnostic and therapeutic services provided or
procedures performed. The bill changes the number of payment classifications to no
fewer than four classifications.
Currently, the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund Peer Review
Council reviews claims made and determines any future changes to fees assessed
against the health care provider. The board of governors of the plan of health care
liability coverage for health care providers appoints members to the peer review
council and designates the chairperson and other officers of the council. The bill
dictates that the chairperson of the peer review council must be a physician. Current
law requires the peer review council to consist of five persons, not more than three
of whom are physicians who are actively engaged in the practice of medicine in
Wisconsin. The bill specifies that those physicians must be licensed and in good
standing to practice medicine instead of actively practicing. Current law requires
the chairperson of the peer review council to serve as an ex officio nonvoting member
of the Medical Examining Board. The bill allows the chairperson to designate
another peer review council member to be the ex officio member of the Medical
Examining Board and specifies that the chairperson or peer review council member
may attend meetings of the Medical Examining Board as appropriate.
Corporate governance annual disclosure initial filing deadline
This bill delays the date on which the first governance annual disclosure is due
to the first June 1 that occurs after the date the final rules implementing the
disclosure requirements are promulgated. 2017 Wisconsin Act 313
insurer or an insurance holding company system of which an insurer is a member
to annually submit to the commissioner a corporate governance annual disclosure
containing certain information.
Confidentiality of information
Under current law, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance may refuse to
disclose and may prevent disclosure of testimony, reports, records, communications,
and information that are obtained from various entities under a pledge of
confidentiality or for the purpose of assisting or participating in the entity's
monitoring activities or in conducting an inquiry, investigation, or examination.
This bill adds to the list of entities whose information may not be disclosed a fund
or other entity in another state, or an association acting on behalf of the fund or other
entity, that is organized for the same purpose as the security fund created under
Placement of surplus lines insurance
This bill eliminates the requirement that, for an intermediary to place surplus
lines insurance with an unauthorized insurer domiciled in the United States, the
unauthorized insurer must provide to the commissioner, no more than six months
after the close of the period reported on, a certified copy of its current annual
statement that is filed and approved by the regulatory authority in the unauthorized
insurer's domicile and certified by an accounting or auditing firm licensed in the
jurisdiction of the unauthorized insurer's domicile. The bill maintains the
requirements for placement of surplus lines insurance that the unauthorized insurer
that is domiciled in the United States is authorized to write the type of insurance to
be placed with the insurer in its place of domicile and has capital and surplus in an
amount specified under current law.
Financial statements of property service contract providers
This bill changes the deadline for submission of financial statements by
providers of property service contracts that use a deposit or irrevocable letter of
credit from the end of the fifth month following the end of the provider's fiscal year
to March 31 of each year.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
600.03 (23) of the statutes is amended to read:
A “group insurance policy" is a policy covering a group of persons, 3
and issued to a policyholder in on
behalf of the group for the benefit of group members 4
who are selected under procedures defined in the policy or agreements collateral 5
thereto, with or without members of their families or dependents.
601.465 (1m) (c) 10. of the statutes is created to read:
(c) 10. A fund or other entity in another state, or an association 8
acting on behalf of the fund or other entity, that is organized for the same purpose 9
as the security fund created under ch. 646.
610.80 (8) of the statutes is amended to read:
610.80 (8) Initial filing deadline. Notwithstanding the June 1 deadline under
12sub. (2) (a), an An
insurer, or the insurance holding company system of which the 13
insurer is a member, that is required to file a corporate governance annual disclosure 14
under this section shall file its first corporate governance annual disclosure no later 15
than 60 days the first June 1 that occurs
after the date the final rules implementing 16
this section are promulgated.
614.19 (3) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) Except as provided in s. 614.24 (1m), every fraternal shall contain 2
in its laws and in each certificate of insurance it issues, a provision, to which every 3
certificate of insurance issued by the fraternal shall be subject, that if the financial 4
position of the fraternal becomes impaired, the board of directors or the supreme 5
governing body may, on an equitable basis, apportion the deficiency among the 6
members of the fraternal, the insured employees or the owners, or any combination 7
thereof. A member, insured employee or owner may then either pay the member's, 8
insured employee's or owner's share of the deficiency, or accept the imposition of a 9
lien on the certificate of insurance, to bear interest at the rate charged on policy loans 10
under the certificate, compounded annually until paid, or may accept a proportionate 11
reduction in benefits under the certificate. The fraternal may specify the manner of 12
the election and which alternative is to be presumed if no election is made. No
13assessment of shares of a deficiency under this paragraph may take effect until 90
14days after the date the commissioner is notified of the assessment, unless the
15commissioner approves an earlier effective date. The commissioner may disapprove
16the assessment of shares of a deficiency under this paragraph if the commissioner
17finds that the assessment is not adopted in conformity with this chapter or is
18contrary to the interests of the members of the domestic fraternal.
614.78 of the statutes is created to read:
20614.78 Maintenance of solvency. (1) Order declaring hazardous
When a domestic fraternal has an authorized control level event, as 22
defined by the commissioner by rule, under circumstances the commissioner 23
determines will not be promptly remedied, the commissioner, in addition to taking 24
any other action required or allowed by law, may issue an order declaring the 25
domestic fraternal to be in a hazardous condition and may order the fraternal to
remedy the authorized control level event. This order may include authorization to 2
the fraternal to negotiate an agreement to transfer, subject to sub. (2), all members, 3
certificates, and other assets and liabilities of the fraternal to another fraternal or 4
other insurer through merger, consolidation, assumption, or other means.
5(2) Specifications regarding transfer.
(a) Any transfer under sub. (1) shall 6
constitute a novation of the transferring fraternal's certificates that is effective on 7
the date of transfer. The fraternal shall ensure the transfer is concluded within the 8
time agreed to by the commissioner and subject to the approval by the commissioner. 9
The transfer agreement under this paragraph is considered to be fully approved by 10
the domestic fraternal upon a majority vote of the fraternal's board of directors, 11
notwithstanding s. 614.73 and any other law or regulation that requires notice to or 12
approval by the fraternal's members or supreme governing body. Any law of a 13
fraternal requiring notice to or approval by the fraternal's members or supreme 14
governing body shall be suspended by this section. The transferring fraternal shall 15
provide notice to its members of the transfer by mail or in the manner provided by 16
s. 614.41 (1) no later than 30 days after the transfer is approved by the commissioner.
(b) If the fraternal seeks to make a transfer under sub. (1) to an organization 18
that does not have a certificate of authority in this state, the commissioner may grant 19
the organization a limited certificate of authority to service the existing certificates 20
and fulfill all obligations owed to certificate holders following the transfer but not to 21
otherwise transact insurance business in this state.
(c) By order of the commissioner and notwithstanding any law or rules to the 23
contrary and any laws of the fraternal, the board of directors of the fraternal may 24
suspend or modify the qualifications for membership in the fraternal as necessary 25
to facilitate a transfer under sub. (1).
(d) Upon the effective date of a transfer to an organization that is not a fraternal 2
and in consideration for the transfer, each member of the fraternal is considered to 3
agree that any terms of a certificate subjecting the certificate to the laws of the 4
fraternal or providing for the maintenance of the fraternal's solvency, except to the 5
extent of any outstanding lien not released by the terms of the transfer, shall be null 6
and void and the assuming organization shall endorse the certificate accordingly.
614.79 of the statutes is created to read:
8614.79 Rehabilitation and liquidation. (1) Grounds for rehabilitation
In addition to the grounds for rehabilitation under s. 645.31 and the 10
grounds for liquidation under s. 645.41, any of the following is grounds for 11
rehabilitation under s. 645.31 or liquidation under s. 645.41:
(a) Failure by a domestic fraternal to comply with an order of the commissioner 13
under s. 614.78.
(b) Failure by a domestic fraternal to remedy within the time specified by the 15
commissioner a hazardous condition as determined by the commissioner under s. 16
17(2) Criteria for rehabilitation.
For purposes of a proceeding commenced 18
under this section, rehabilitation under s. 645.31 is presumed to be futile and to serve 19
no useful purpose, unless the commissioner reasonably believes that rehabilitation 20
has a high probability of returning the fraternal to long-term viability or will 21
facilitate a transfer to another fraternal or insurer.
22(3) Assessments under liquidation.
Notwithstanding ss. 614.19 (3) and 23
645.68, after a petition for liquidation of a fraternal is filed, the fraternal may not 24
assess payment of shares of a deficiency under s. 614.19. (3) (b), unless the 25
commissioner determines that the assessment is for the purpose of satisfying the
obligations of the fraternal to creditors described in s. 645.68 (1) and (3). The 2
fraternal may not make an assessment for the purpose of any deficiency related to 3
other claims including those described in s. 645.68 (3c), (3m), (3r), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), 4
(9), (10), or (11).
5(4) Conduct of liquidation proceedings.
Liquidation proceedings under this 6
section for a fraternal shall be conducted consistent with the purposes of s. 645.01 7
(4) (c) in a manner designed to conserve assets, limit liquidation expenses, and avoid 8
any assessment of shares of a deficiency.
9(5) Transfer by liquidator.
The liquidator of a fraternal under this section 10
shall attempt to transfer policies or certificates of the liquidating fraternal under s. 11
645.46 (8) by way of assignment, assumption, or other means to a qualified fraternal, 12
either domestic or foreign, or, if no qualified fraternal will accept the transfer, to an 13
insurer authorized to transact life insurance business in this state. In determining 14
whether a fraternal or insurer is qualified to accept a transfer under this subsection, 15
the liquidator shall consider the solvency of the fraternal or other insurer among 16
other things. No fraternal shall be obligated to accept a transfer under this 17
subsection. Upon the effective date of a transfer under this subsection to an insurer 18
that is not a fraternal and in consideration for the transfer, each member of the 19
fraternal and owner of a policy or certificate being transferred is considered to agree 20
that any terms of the insurance policy or certificate that provide for the maintenance 21
of the fraternal's solvency or that subject the policy or certificate to the policies of the 22
fraternal shall be null and void and to agree to any other changes to terms of the 23
policy or certificate that are determined by the liquidator to be necessary to 24
effectuate the transfer. The insurer accepting transfer shall endorse the policy or
certificate accordingly. Any transfer under this subsection is a novation of the policy 2
or certificate that is effective on the date of transfer.
616.54 (8) of the statutes is amended to read:
616.54 (8) Financial statements.
A provider using a deposit or irrevocable 5
letter of credit as specified in sub. (7) to satisfy sub. (5) shall, by the end of the 5th
6month following the end of each fiscal year of the provider
each March 31
, submit 7
financial statements for the most recent
fiscal year to the commissioner that are 8
prepared on an accrual basis in accordance with generally accepted accounting 9
principles and that are audited by an independent certified public accountant.
618.416 (1) (c) of the statutes is repealed.
655.27 (3) (b) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) 2. With respect to fees paid by physicians, the commissioner shall 13
provide for not more no fewer
than 4 payment classifications, based upon the amount 14
of surgery performed and the risk of diagnostic and therapeutic services provided or 15
655.275 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
655.275 (2) Appointment.
The board of governors shall appoint the members 18
of the council. Section 15.09, except s. 15.09 (4) and (8), does not apply to the council. 19
The board of governors shall designate the chairperson who shall be a physician
, vice 20
chairperson and secretary of the council and the terms to be served by council 21
members. The council shall consist of 5 persons, not more than 3 of whom are 22
physicians who are actively engaged in the practice of licensed and in good standing
medicine in this state. The chairperson shall be a physician and or
24another peer review council member designated by the chairperson
shall serve as an
ex officio nonvoting member of the medical examining board
and may attend
2meetings of the medical examining board, as appropriate