Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summary of Bills Enacted by the 80th Texas Legislature

Below is a summary of some of the Texas bills that were passed and enacted by the 80th Texas Legislature:

HB 1070 (Effective immediately)

HB 1070 amends the Occupations Code to establish new criteria for liability insurance for amusement rides that operate in a manner similar to a train and have prescribed safety features. The bill also permits a local government to satisfy insurance requirements for operating amusement rides by obtaining liability coverage through an interlocal agreement.

SB 502 (Effective on September 1, 2007)

SB 502 amends the minimum liability insurance coverage required for Texas motorists, effective April 1, 2008, to: $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person; $50,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more persons in one accident; and $25,000 for property damage in one accident. Effective on January 1, 2011, the limits will increase to: $30,000 bodily injury or death for one person; $60,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more persons; and $25,000 for property damage.

SB 1627 (Effective immediately)

SB 1627 provides that a person who commits workers’ compensation fraud may be prosecuted under Chapter 418 of the Labor Code. The bill gives prosecutors the flexibility to use the penalty provisions in the Penal Code so that workers’ compensation fraud can be punished in the same manner as fraud committed against other lines of insurance. Workers’ compensation fraud under Chapter 418, Labor Code, is a state jail felony.

HB 2467 (Effective on September 1, 2007)

HB 2467 allows a small or large employer health benefit plan issuer to modify a small or large employer benefit plan if the modification occurs at the time of renewal, the modification is effective uniformly among all employers covered by that plan, and the issuer provides notice to the commissioner and the employer not later than 60 days before the modification.

HB 2548 (Effective immediately)

HB 2548 prohibits a preexisting condition in an individual accident and health policy from applying to an individual who was continuously insured for an aggregate period of 18 months by creditable coverage that was in effect not more than 63 days before the effective date of the individual coverage.

The bill also changes the eligibility requirements for the Health Insurance Risk Pool in two situations:

  • Part-time employees who are eligible to participate in an employer plan are eligible to participate in the Risk Pool if the coverage provided by the employer is more limited or restricted than the Pool’s coverage and the employer does not provide any contribution to the premium.
  • Individuals who were eligible for COBRA benefits (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) who did not elect coverage or whose election lapsed or was canceled are eligible for Pool coverage subject to a 180 day exclusion for charges or expenses incurred for preexisting conditions.

HB2549 (Effective on September 1, 2007)

HB 2549 amends the specifications regarding the coverage of children and grandchildren. It allows coverage under a group life insurance policy to be extended to cover children who are unmarried and younger than 25. It also adds the ability to extend coverage to grandchildren who are unmarried and younger than 25 and a dependent of the insured for federal income tax purposes.

SB 303 (Effective on September 1, 2007)

SB 303 clarifies the statutory child support calculation for determining the net resources of an obligor by specifying in greater detail the manner in which health care coverage may be deducted from net resources.

HB 2004 (Effective on September 1, 2007)

HB 2004 requires that doctors performing peer review, utilization review, independent review, required medical examination or as a designated doctor must be certified in the specialty appropriate to the care the injured employee is receiving. The bill further requires that providers reviewing dental or chiropractic services must be licensed in these specific areas.