The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance (CSI), generates the third most revenue of any agency in the State. Of that revenue, only a small percentage is used to fund the agency. The remaining funds are transferred to the State General Fund, the Healthy Montana Kids Program, and other state-based programs.

 

Revenue Generated from
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Fees and Fines
Revenue Transferred to
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the General Fund
Dollars Provided for
$0M
the Healthy MT Kids Program
Dollars Provided for
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the Montana Help Act


Protecting Montana Consumers at the Legislature

Thank you for your support of the CSI’s agenda.  This session, my office brought forward a package of bills that gained strong bipartisan support.  We worked tirelessly with legislators, industry representatives, and consumer groups to make positive changes to the insurance and securities laws.

 

The CSI brought forward and supported four bills that will reduce cost and provide alternatives to meet people’s health care needs.

Bill Text    Fact Sheet     Opinion-Editorial
This bipartisan law, carried by Senator Greg Hertz, allows us to combat rising prescription drug prices and associated health insurance premiums by compelling transparency and licensing and regulating PBMs. PBMs are the middle layer in the drug supply chain between manufacturer and pharmacy on behalf of the health plans. This law will also help local pharmacies by giving our office authority to enforce prescription drug pricing statutes.
Bill Text    Fact Sheet     Opinion-Editorial
This bipartisan law, carried by Senator Greg Hertz, allows us to combat rising prescription drug prices and associated health insurance premiums by compelling transparency and licensing and regulating PBMs. PBMs are the middle layer in the drug supply chain between manufacturer and pharmacy on behalf of the health plans. This law will also help local pharmacies by giving our office authority to enforce prescription drug pricing statutes.
Bill Text
This bill, brought by Senator Cary Smith, defines a safe harbor for medical practitioners who want to establish payment plans and relationships with their patients outside of traditional health insurance plans. These plans do not constitute insurance to the extent they fall within the safe harbor established by the bill. My belief is that more “tools” available to Montana families is better. Our agency has planned an outreach program to educate Montana consumers and businesses on this legislation, including what Direct Patient Care plans are and are not.  We see an opportunity for Montanans with higher high-deductible health insurance plans to use this as a supplement for normal health maintenance visits and defined services (although any payments into a Direct Patient Care program will not count towards a deductible under a traditional health insurance plan).
Bill Text
This bill, brought by Senator Tom McGillvray, defines a safe harbor for health sharing programs, including health sharing ministries. Much like SB 101 above, this is another tool available to Montanans looking for alternatives to traditional health insurance plans. This defines what a health sharing plan must do to avoid being regulated as insurance. As in SB 101 above, our plan is to provide educational outreach to help Montanans better understand what a sharing arrangement is and is not.
The next group of bills we brought and supported are aimed at solving some of the complaints that we receive from consumer and insurance agents in the property-casualty and life and health insurance laws.

Bill Text     Press Release
This law, carried by Representative Sue Vinton, removes a decades-old discriminatory law that artificially inflated insurance rates for women in auto and life insurance lines. Montana was an outlier in not allowing sex and marital status to be used to appropriately rate insurance premiums. Insurers are now allowed to use actuarial science to appropriately rate risk. This new policy is a win/win/win in Montana. It will usher in lower, appropriately rated insurance premiums for women. It will also help Main Street businesses by allowing our local insurance agents to compete with other states (currently, many complain that they lose customers to more competitive states.) This will also foster competition which almost always results in lower rates. In the past, there were companies who simply did not write business in Montana because our discriminatory rate-setting law was different than the rest of the country. It is important to note that this law does not affect federally exempted health plans.
Bill Text     Fact Sheet
This bill, carried by Representative Vince Ricci, reduced the number of years an insurer can “look back” for negative claims history to use in rating, renewing, and issuing homeowner insurance policies.  Prior to this new law, an insurer could look back an unrestricted number of years on the claims history of the property, regardless of whether the insured was the owner of the property during those years.  Under this bill, an insurer is now limited to only “look back” 7 years for adverse claims history but may look back any number of years for positive history.
Bill Text    Fact Sheet
This bill, carried by Representative Vice Ricci, is great news for those living in areas challenged with high deer population or frequent hailstorms. Previously, auto insurers could consider the insured’s driving record for the most recent 3 years but could look back through the life of the vehicle for its claims history. This law states an insurer may not refuse to insure, refuse to continue to insure, charge higher rates or limit the amount of coverage based on adverse claims history that is more than 3 years old, but may continue to look back indefinitely for positive information.  The bill also limits the consideration of loss experience or an insured’s driving record to 5 years for commercial policies for the purposes of insuring, renewing, and rating.
Bill Text
This bill, carried by Senator Steve Fitzpatrick, creates a best interest standard for producers to sell annuities.  The bill makes clear that an insurance producer may not conduct the business of securities without a license and lists what practices will result in the producer needing a securities license.
The CSI regulates the securities industry.  It is important to us that Montanans can invest their money safely with trusted agents and brokers who comply with the law and work in the best interest of their clients.

Bill Text    Fact Sheet
This act, carried by Representative Terry Moore, is based on a national act that prevents employer retaliation when bringing bad actors in the securities industry to our attention. We believe this is a valuable tool in creating leads so that we can protect Montana consumers by holding bad actors accountable. This act also allows the whistleblower to receive a portion of any fines levied against the bad actor for bringing important original information to the CSI.
Bill Text   Fact Sheet
This bill, carried by Representative Terry Moore, defines a Salesperson in the broker-dealer space. This gives our agency regulatory authority over a person who supervises another individual. An important note is that most supervisors reside out of state and were difficult to reach prior to this bill.
Bill Text    Fact Sheet
This bill, carried by Representative Terry Moore, reauthorizes the existence of a Securities Restitution Fund that was established in 2011. This fund collects fees from the securities industry. The fees are used as partial restitution for securities fraud victims when a bad actor is insolvent and cannot pay restitution. This program is widely supported by industry.
As a member of the Land Board, I take very seriously my constitutional, fiduciary duty to provide money to public schools by managing our state’s resources.  I have become concerned that we are selling away our state lands, our most valuable asset, for pennies on the dollar.  I brought a bill to address these concerns.

Bill Text  Fact Sheet
Although this bill was introduced late in the session and was tabled before missing the transmittal deadline, it gave us the opportunity to start the discussion on what we consider a program not working well for Montana regarding State Trust cabin lease sales. Thanks to Senator Mike Cuffe for introducing this bill and allowing us to start an important discussion on whether the Board of Land Commissioners has the broad constitutional authority to cancel sales when they are not in the best interests of the State.
The CSI also oversees the captive insurance market in Montana.  Captive insurance is essentially a form of self-insurance whereby the insurer is owned wholly by the insured. Captives are formed to cover practically every risk underwritten by a commercial insurer. Our office brought forward two bills to maintain Montana as the best place for a captive to domicile.

SB 28 Bill Text     SB 76  Bill Text
These bills, carried by Senator Dan Salomon, streamline our state captive insurance regulations to bring them in line and make them competitive with national captive insurance company programs. Currently, Montana is the 4th largest domicile for captive insurance companies which are, to simplify, mostly self-insurance programs. Our goal is to increase Montana’s attractiveness as a domicile state for captive insurance companies, thereby benefitting Montana in its national standing and in increased revenues from premium taxes collected from captive insurance programs.
The CSI is entirely funded by fees that we collect from the industry.  Of that money, we use a portion to fund the office and the rest is sent to the general fund.  We also are responsible for generating millions of dollars to the general fund in taxes and fines from the industries we regulate.  By creating a healthy and vibrant business environment, the CSI is easing your tax burden.