September 17, 2015

New law allows Missouri insurance regulator to offer guidance to industry and consumer groups on pressing topics

House Bill 709 allows department to issue informal bulletins to educate stakeholders

Jefferson City, Mo. - House Bill 709, signed into law by Governor Nixon, allows the Missouri Department of Insurance to issue informal bulletins for the purpose of educating the insurance industry and the general public about regulatory topics or issues. This new law also allows the department to issue no-action letters that state the intent of the department not to take enforcement action against a particular insurer based on a specific set of facts presented by the insurer.

Prior to the passage of House Bill 709, the department was restrained from giving informal opinions or issuing position statements as a result of the Missouri Supreme Court's decision in the Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Inc. v. Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts, 343 S.W.3d 348 (Mo. Banc 2011). House Bill 709 addresses the Supreme Court ruling by clearly allowing the department to issue bulletins for educational purposes. Bulletins will be prominently posted on the department's website at   

"This is a key piece of legislation that allows regulators to do our jobs more effectively and efficiently. The department can now proactively communicate with both the industry and consumers about important insurance topics," said Department Director John M. Huff. "House Bill 709 is a great example of how the insurance industry and the department can work together to find common sense solutions to reduce regulatory uncertainty and reduce unnecessary regulatory costs, that are ultimately passed on to consumers."