This week, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance proposed regulations addressing automobile insurance identification cards, proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 11:3-6.1, proposed repeals at N.J.A.C. 11:3-6.2 and 6.3, and proposed new rules at N.J.A.C.11:3-6.2, 6.3, 6.4 and 6.5, all to allow operators of motor vehicles to provide proof of insurance electronically. The proposed amendments and new rules provide for an electronic form for the display of insurance identification cards and contain provisions designed to deter and detect counterfeit or fraudulent insurance identification cards, while reducing insurer compliance obligations and streamline existing requirements. Additionally, the proposed amendments and new rules require insurance companies to issue insurance identification cards to all named insureds; establish formats for permanent insurance identification cards and documents; demonstrate temporary evidence of insurance; provide general guidelines regarding insurance, time restrictions, and replacement of insurance identification cards; and provide guidelines for electronic insurance identification cards.

The Department also proposed re-adoption with amendments and repeals and new rules addressing New Jersey workers’ compensation managed care organizations (WCMCOs). The rules implicated were scheduled to expire on May 18, 2016, and filing of the regulatory proposals extends the expiration date six months until November 14, 2016.

The WCMCO rules provide a framework for encouraging the use of managed care to furnish injured employees with such medical, surgical and other treatments and hospital services as may be necessary to cure and relieve the employees of the effects of the injury. Regulations further serve to contain medical costs under workers’ compensation coverage by providing eligible employees with a method whereby they may select a managed care alternative to traditional workers’ compensation medical care at a reduced premium and a reduced cost. The proposed rules are designed to meet these goals.

While most of the proposed changes are nonmaterial, procedural in nature and clarify existing procedures, the Department is proposing that N.J.A.C. 11:6-2.5(b)14 be amended to clarify that all provider agreements be submitted with a WCMCO’s application and further that copies of the signature pages of the provider agreements be available upon request. Further, N.J.A.C. 11:6-2.9 reduces the fee to a company a WCMCO application from $3,000 to $1,500. N.J.A.C.11:6-2.10(a) clarifies that if a filed form has not been disapproved by the Department, it may be used, provided that all forms of agreement and amendments are filed at least 60 days before the planned date of use and contain a unique number in the bottom left hand corner with which it may be identified.

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