On May 16, 2022, Governor Henry McMaster signed into law House Bill H. 4832 which amends Section 2, Chapter 72, Title 38 of the 1976 South Carolina Code of Laws. This amendment adds Section 38-72-78 which requires insurers writing long-term care insurance that have filed for a rate increase to notify policyholders no later than 30 days after the date of the filing. Each rate filing submitted after the date of this Bulletin must include the certification set forth in Exhibit A and the proposed policyholder notification letter. Policyholder notifications (see Exhibit B for Sample Notice) are not subject to prior approval. The notice must include:
· The proposed rate increase for the individual or group policyholder;
· A summary of why the rate increase is being requested;
· A clear and conspicuous statement that the rate request is subject to regulatory approval;
· A statement that the policyholder may provide written or oral comments or objections on the proposed rate increase to the Department; and
· The Department’s contact information for questions concerning the rate increase request.
See S.C. Code Ann. Section 38-72-78 (2022). The insurer shall provide the written notice by first class mail to the last known mailing address of all affected policyholders.
Within 30 days of the filing, the insurer shall attach to the pending rate filing in the System for Electronic Rate and Form Filings (SERFF) a signed certification that notices have been sent in accordance with this Bulletin.
Rate increases shall not be implemented until approved by the Department of Insurance pursuant to Section 38-72-75 and, once approved, may be implemented on the date of approval or the proposed effective date included in the filing.
Any questions regarding this Bulletin should be submitted via email to LAHmail@doi.sc.gov and include the insurer’s name and primary point of contact (with phone number and email address) for follow-up.