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3 Document(s) [ Subject: Health insurance exchanges ]

Committee: Senate Business and Commerce
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Electric utilities | Electric utility deregulation | Electric utility rates and charges | Emergency management | Flood insurance | Flood plains | Health insurance | Health insurance exchanges | Home equity lines of credit | Home equity loans | Hurricane Harvey | Mortgages | Natural disasters | Occupational licenses | Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act | Privacy | Social networking websites | Texas Constitution | Wills and estates |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 B963
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [133 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study infrastructure security and energy restoration post weather events. Identify ways state government entities can help utilities more effectively stage pre-hurricane mobilization crews for managing resources before an event.
2. Examine state mortgage requirements regarding the notification of homebuyers on their need for flood insurance in flood plains and flood pool areas and make recommendations on how to better inform consumers.
3. Examine local government regulations, including occupational licenses, as related to Hurricane Harvey and determine if any are a detriment to rebuilding efforts.
4. Examine and make recommendations on the need for changes to the Texas Constitution for home equity lenders to offer various forms of relief to Texas homeowners affected by natural disasters including, among others, the authority to enter into deferment agreements. This examination should include a study of home equity rules regarding negotiation, modification and refinancing and whether constitutionally established time periods can be waived in times of disasters.
5. Free Market Electricity: Examine the competitive nature of the Texas retail electric system and what government competitive intrusions in the free energy markets may have in distorting those markets. Review the impact of competitive versus noncompetitive retail electricity markets across the state in terms of price and reliability. Consider the projected impact of establishing competitive electric retail markets statewide.
6. Health Insurance Market Stability: Study the factors affecting health insurance markets in Texas, particularly the individual market, including federal and state law. Make recommendations that would result in increased stability in the markets and enhance value and affordability for individual consumers and businesses. Examine what steps the state needs to take to allow out-of-state health insurance sales. In developing its recommendations, the committee should consider the flexibility afforded to states by 1332 "state innovation" waivers, which allow states to modify or eliminate tax penalties associated with individual and employer coverage mandates; modify requirements for benefits and subsidies; and find alternative ways to provide benefit plan choices, determine eligibility for subsidies, and enroll consumers.
7. Licensing and Fees: Review licensing requirements and fees imposed on entities within the committee's jurisdiction. Make recommendations for state licenses and fees that should be reduced, repealed or transitioned to private-sector enforcement.
8. Social Media Access: Study access issues regarding digital assets of decedents. Study social media privacy laws and whether job applicants and students' privacy is jeopardized under current law.
9. Examine the 2018 electric reliability forecasts announced by ERCOT and review how expected diminished reserve markets will impact the rates of residential and business consumers. Monitor current mechanisms available to ERCOT to ensure grid reliability, identify trends in the wholesale electric market, and make recommendations to maintain grid reliability moving forward.
10. Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce during the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, including: • The implementation of legislation to deregulate occupational licensing; • The settlement of out-of-network health benefit claims involving balance billing and patient's explanation of benefits statements; and • Make recommendations regarding any additional legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/ or complete implementation.
Committee: Senate State Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Biometric identification | Cellular telephones | DNA databases | e-government | Electronic surveillance | Employees Retirement System of Texas | Health care costs | Health care navigators | Health insurance exchanges | Health insurance pools | Legislature, Texas | Medical billing | Patents | Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act | Personally identifiable information | Privacy | Rules of the Texas Senate | Search warrants | Searches and seizures | Small businesses | Teacher Retirement System of Texas | Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool | Texas Legislature Online | Texas Mutual Insurance | Websites | Workers' compensation |
Library Call Number: L1836.83 St29a
Session: 83rd R.S. (2013)
Online version: View report [128 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine the negative economic impact on Texas business from legal issues involving threatened and actual patent litigation by "patent assertion entities" (PAEs). Consider the effects of PAE actions on innovation and economic development in Texas, paying particular attention to threats and lawsuits involving software and technology patent claims. Make recommendations on how the State of Texas can address problems related to frivolous legal actions and unsubstantiated patent claims asserted against legitimate business enterprises in light of the relevant federal jurisdiction, laws, regulations, and court rules in patent cases.
2. Examine possible measures to protect the personal privacy of Texas residents from governmental and commercial surveillance, including: (1) any necessary limits on warrantless search and seizure of data from electronic devices and wireless providers, including digital content and geolocational data; (2) any necessary protections against non-consented video and audio recordings collected by private handheld and wearable mobile devices and other private surveillance; and (3) any necessary limits on warrantless monitoring of the physical location of individuals through the use of biometrics, RFID chips, facial recognition, or other technologies. Examine related measures proposed or passed in other states.
3. Review the types and scope of personal data collected by governmental and commercial entities and consider methods to minimize the government’s collection of data on its citizens. The study should include: (1) whether sufficient protections exist for DNA samples and information, including whether there should be a prohibition on the creation of DNA databases, except for felons and sex offenders; (2) methods to protect the privacy of gun owners from aggregated purchasing pattern tracking; (3) mechanisms to ensure that private health care information is properly protected; and (4) ways to ensure that previously anonymous data is not improperly re-identified and marketed. Examine related measures proposed or passed in other states.
4. Examine possible reforms designed to increase citizens' ability to know what data is being collected about them by governmental andcommercial entities and with whom that data is being shared, including an analysis of consumer informed consent. Examine related measures proposed or passed in other states.
5. Study the online legislative resources available to the public from Texas Senate Committee websites and compare esources to those provided by other state legislative committees in Texas and other states. Determine how Texas Senate websites can be improved to provide a more interactive and transparent government.
6. Study the emerging negative impacts of the Federal Affordable Care Act, including the use of navigators, and make recommendations to mitigate any unintended consequences including rising health insurance premiums, lack of access to healthcare, mishandling of Texans' private information by insufficiently-trained navigators, and the Act’s overall effect on Texas employers and insurance consumers. Evaluate free-market alternatives to the Act, including state-led proposals to repeal, reduce or replace the Act. Closely monitor and make recommendations on the continuation of the Texas Health Insurance Pool.
7. Study and make recommendations on increasing medical price transparency in Texas, including studying the impact of SB 1731, 80th Legislative Session. Analyze relevant reforms considered or implemented in other states, and make recommendations regarding potential changes designed to create a more open marketplace for enhanced consumer decision making in Texas.
8. Monitor the actuarial and financial conditions of the pension and health care programs administered by the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) and the Employees Retirement System (ERS).
9. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on State Affairs, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.
10. Study and make recommendations relative to the structure of Texas Mutual Insurance Company and the residual market for workers’ compensation insurance in Texas.
Committee: Senate State Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Consumer credit | Eminent domain | Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 | Employees Retirement System of Texas | Federal government | Firefighters | Forest Service, Texas A&M | Health insurance | Health insurance exchanges | Liability | Medicaid | Military personnel | Municipalities | Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act | Peace officers | Primary elections | Property rights | Public retirement systems | Public Safety, Texas Department of | State employee benefits | State employee turnover | States' rights | Statutes of limitation | Teacher Retirement System of Texas | Voting by mail | Voting systems | Wildfires | Workers' compensation | Zoning |
Library Call Number: L1836.82 St29a
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [177 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the policies and actions the State can pursue to preserve state authority and protect Texas citizens from federal overreach in the form of conditional federal grants, conditional federal preemption, and excessive legislation and regulation interfering with states' enumerated powers by Congress.
2. Examine the Texas Workers' Compensation system and make recommendations for changes to meet the needs of Texas employers and employees. Specifically, review the following:
  • the dispute resolution process and benefits available from employers that do not subscribe to workers compensation;
  • the adequacy of income benefits in the workers’ compensation system, specifically on high?wage earners receiving the maximum compensation rate;
  • identify and report on fatalities in the Workers’ Compensation System, including the amount of death and burial benefits paid to beneficiaries and the Subsequent Injury Fund since 2000;
  • the return-­to-­work numbers and results for injured employees in the Workers’ Compensation System that are referred to the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.
3. Study the feasibility and fiscal impact to consumers of altering the insurance code to allow for the purchase of health insurance across state lines.
4. Monitor the potential impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on insurance regulations, Medicaid and CHIP, health care outcomes and overall health of all Texans, and the state budget in Texas. Additionally, monitor the current constitutional challenges to PPACA and other court cases associated with PPACA, and ensure that the state does not expend any resources until judicial direction is clear. (Joint charge with Senate Health & Human Services Committee)
5. Study and make recommendations on statutory provisions and judicial decisions relating to the statute of limitations on a cause of action relating to consumer debt.
6. Examine establishing a workforce retention program or deferred retirement option plan (DROP) for Texas Department of Public Safety commissioned peace officers and whether any plan can be built with actuarially sustainable factors while meeting the needs of officers.
7. Examine the feasibility of implementing Health Reimbursement Accounts and Medicare exchanges for Medicare eligible participants currently covered by and receiving health coverage through the Employees Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement System, the University of Texas, and Texas A&M University. Identify any cost savings to the state and to retirees that would occur under such a plan.
8. Consider the costs and benefits of the creation of liability protection for private companies and individuals when commissioned by the Texas Forest Service to assist in fighting a fire that is not on the company's or individual's own land. Examine whether state policy should prohibit an employer from terminating an employee who is a volunteer firefighter on the grounds that the employee missed work because the employee was responding to an emergency. Identify any appropriate limitations that should apply to such a policy.
9. Examine the effectiveness of the Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act (Chapter 2007, Government Code), and whether it should apply to municipalities.
10. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on State Affairs, 82nd Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following:
  • implementation of SB 100, relating to the implementation of the MOVE Act, and the impact on local and statewide elections and military voters;
  • implementation of the Interstate Health Care Compact.

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