Meeting to consider SB 1201

Senate Banking and Insurance Committee

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | 9:30 a.m.

East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-B


Meeting to consider SB 1201


SB 1201 Pittman: Requires health insurance policies to cover prescription eye drop refills at 70 percent of the prescribed duration.

  • A04400 DiSanto: Technical changes. Defines insurer and further provides for applicability after the effective date.

DiSanto: Senate Committee Preserves CHIP Family Choice

HARRISBURG—Today the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee unanimously approved three bills which included approval of telehealth for outpatient psychiatric clinics, financial solvency regulation for insurance companies, and preserving options for CHIP families.

SB 1235, authored by committee Chairman John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) and Sharif Street (Philadelphia), would prohibit the Department of Human Services (DHS) from soliciting bids for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in any way that would preclude a CHIP carrier from submitting a bid. DHS had considered using the Medicaid Health Choices zones to bid the program, which would have excluded Harrisburg-based Capital Blue Cross because its national association only permits it to sell branded products in 21 counties.

“Capital Blue Cross serves a quarter of the entire CHIP program’s covered lives, and this business line alone provides for 70 family-sustaining jobs,” DiSanto said.  “Under the originally proposed bidding zones, all these CHIP families would need to find new health coverage and these local jobs would be lost.”

SB 1222, also authored by Chairmen DiSanto and Street, would adopt enhanced state-based financial solvency laws for insurance companies intended to better protect consumers. The legislation is needed to comply with Covered Agreements between the United States and the European Union and United Kingdom, or risk Pennsylvania-based insurers be subject to costly and disruptive international accounting standards and regulations.

HB 2419, sponsored by Representative Pickett, allows outpatient psychiatric clinics to better utilize telehealth for the delivery of mental health services. The bill alleviates the ongoing psychiatrist shortage and improves patient access to care.  

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman 717-787-6801

DiSanto Committee Votes to Urge Congress to Block Biden Plan to Access Private Bank Information

HARRISBURG— The state Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, chaired by Sen. John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry), voted today to urge Congress to oppose a plan by the Biden Administration to gain access to the bank account information of citizens.

“This was a reckless idea from the beginning, and the Biden administration’s excuse that they wanted to look into the bank accounts of almost all Americans in order to target tax cheats was simply not believable,” DiSanto said. “This was a dangerous idea and remains so. Congress must stop it in its tracks.” 

The Biden administration originally planned to direct the IRS to collect additional data on every bank account that sees more than $600 in annual transactions. Following widespread criticism, the plan was altered to cover deposits and withdrawals from bank accounts with more than $10,000 in non-payroll income, but this still imposes an unprecedented invasion of privacy by the IRS as the average American has annual transactions of more than $60,000 per year.

The committee passed Senate Resolution 195 by a vote of 9-5 with all Democratic members voting against the resolution. The Biden proposal is currently included in a multi-trillion-dollar spending package Congress and the White House have been negotiating for months.

The committee also passed:

  • Senate Bill 676 increasing for the first time in 47 years the minimum amount of auto insurance required for drivers to $25,000 for bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage. The amended bill also reforms “stacking,” a confusing option motorists face when purchasing auto insurance.

“The current, default stacking of coverage is poorly understood by consumers, arbitrary and imprecise, with a waiver process that is fraught with uncertainty and litigation,” DiSanto said. “This legislation provides easily understandable policies and choices that fulfill the needs of consumers.”

  • House Bill 1588 allowing remote mortgage origination to continue. Under current law, mortgage brokers are required to work out of a licensed location. However, during the pandemic, emergency orders waived the requirement to work from a licensed location to conduct business.

The measures now go to the full Senate for consideration.

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman 717-787-6801 

DiSanto’s Banking & Insurance Committee Approves Bills to Assure Patient Access to Medical Care

Harrisburg – As Chairman of the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee, Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) held a voting meeting to approve bills to assure patient access to medical services and prescription drugs, authorize telemedicine services, ensure annuity recommendations are in the consumer’s best interest, and modernize the insurance agent licensing process.

Senate Bill 225, introduced by Senator Phillips-Hill, seeks to streamline and standardize the prior authorization of medically necessary health care services and prescription drugs. Health providers report many administrative barriers when obtaining insurance company approvals for tests, medications, and procedures that have led to unnecessary delays in patient care. This legislation imposes timely deadlines to expedite prior authorization and important protections to respect the doctor-patient relationship and need for individualized treatment.

“Reforming the prior authorization process is essential to improving the patient experience,” DiSanto said. “Patients ought to have access to appropriate treatments in a timely manner, and I look forward to continuing to lead negotiations between key industry stakeholders as this legislation advances.”

Senate Bill 705, introduced by Senator Vogel, expressly authorizes the use of telemedicine services in Pennsylvania. The bill establishes guidelines regarding who can provide telemedicine services and provides clarity regarding insurance company reimbursement for those services.

“Telemedicine played an instrumental role in patient access to quality health care services during the pandemic,” said DiSanto. “This legislation ensures patients will continue to enjoy the convenience and innovation of telemedicine services well into the future.”

Senate Bill 772, introduced by Senator DiSanto, improves the marketing and financial stability of annuities by updating Pennsylvania’s annuity law to reflect changes made by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The legislation imposes a higher standard of conduct on insurance agents and brokers to require all annuity recommendations be in the consumer’s best interest.

House Bill 1349, introduced by Representative Pickett, permits the Insurance Department to electronically process national criminal history records. The bill modernizes and expedites the background check process for insurance brokers and agents.

These bills now go to the full Senate for consideration.

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman 717-787-6801

Meeting to consider the nominations of James Biery and Mary Zenner to the Banking and Securities Commission; SB 225, SB 705, and SB 772, and HB 1349

Senate Banking and Insurance Committee

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | 10:00 a.m.

North Office Building, Hearing Room #1

Meeting to consider the nominations of James Biery and Mary Zenner to the Banking and Securities Commission; SB 225, SB 705, and SB 772, and HB 1349

Consideration of nominees: Banking and Securities Commission

  • James Biery, Cumberland County
  • Mary Zenner, Erie County

Senate Bill 225 Phillips-Hill: Further provides for uniform definitions, prior authorization standards, step therapy protocols, and an adverse determination appeal process.

  • Amendment Forthcoming

Senate Bill 705 Vogel: Establishes the Telemedicine Act to provide for regulation, insurance coverage, and payment to health care providers for telemedicine services.

  • Amendment Forthcoming

Senate Bill 772 DiSanto, Street: Reduces the minimum nonforfeiture rate for individual deferred annuities and adopts a consumer best interest standard for annuity recommendations.

House Bill 1349 Pickett: Enables the Insurance Department to electronically process criminal history records for insurance producer applicants. 

Public Hearing on SB 676

Senate Banking and Insurance Committee

Monday, June 21, 2021 | 11:00 a.m.

Room 8E-B, East Wing and Virtual Participation

Public Hearing on SB 676, Auto Insurance Stacking


11:00 AM        Opening Remarks

  • Senator John DiSanto, Chairman
  • Senator Sharif Street, Democratic Chairman

11:05 AM        Insurance Agents & Brokers

  • Lauren E. Brinjac, Government Affairs Director, IA&B  – Combined Testimony
  • Jason F. Ernest, Esq., CEO, IA&B
  • Chris Miller, Principal Agent, Miller Insurance Protection Team – Combined Testimony

11:30 AM        Pennsylvania Association for Justice

  • Joshua A. Rosen, Esq., Chief Operating Officer, Simon & Simon, PC Comptroller  – Combined Testimony
  • James C. Haggerty, Esq., Shareholder, Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, P.C.  – Combined Testimony

12:00 PM        Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania

12:25 PM        Closing Remarks and Adjournment

Written Testimony

Jessica K Altman, Commissioner, Pennsylvania Insurance Department – Testimony

DiSanto’s Banking & Insurance Committee Approves Bills to Improve Team-based Healthcare and Strengthen State Banking Fund

Harrisburg—As Chairman of the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee, Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) held a voting meeting to approve bills that promote the use of team-based healthcare as well as strengthen the independence of the state’s banking fund.

Senate Bill 425, introduced by Senator Gordner, provides a critical legislative clarification in response to a 2017 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that precluded health care facilities and physicians from utilizing qualified practitioners in obtaining a patient’s informed consent for medical procedures. The legislation allows physicians to use their expertise and judgment to determine how best to serve patients. The bill was supported by the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania as well as the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

“Obtaining informed consent for a treatment decision is a dynamic process of answering patient questions and weighing all available options,” DiSanto said. “The team-based approach permitted in this bill facilitates more open discussions in time-pressured healthcare environments.”

Senate Bill 432, by Senator Laughlin, ensures fees and assessments levied against banks and credit unions are used only to examine and provide regulatory oversight of these financial institutions. The bill makes certain the Department of Banking and Securities’ operations are sustainable and able to resolve any failed institutions without relying on taxpayer dollars for support.

“In recent years, two transfers have been made from the State Banking Fund to support the General Fund and other state agencies,” DiSanto said. “Converting the Banking Fund into a Trust Fund ensures regulatory assessments will support effective regulation of the industry, protecting the benefits state-chartered financial institutions provide to Pennsylvania consumers and businesses.”

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman 717-787-6801

Meeting to consider SB 425 and SB 432


Senate Banking and Insurance Committee

Monday, April 19, 2021 | Off the Floor

Senate Chamber (and Virtual Participation)

Meeting to consider SB 425 and SB 432