28 TAC §3.3313
1. INTRODUCTION. The Commissioner of Insurance adopts an amendment to §3.3313, concerning filing requirements for Medicare supplement insurance advertisements requiring Departmental review. The amendment is adopted without changes to the proposed text published in the May 2, 2008, issue of the Texas Register (33 TexReg 3550).
2. REASONED JUSTIFICATION. The Department has determined that institutional advertisements that merely reference Medicare supplement insurance as a line of coverage are routinely accepted by the Department without objections and are not currently a source of false, misleading, or deceptive marketing practices. Therefore, the amendment is necessary to more effectively utilize Departmental resources without compromising consumer protection. Additionally, the adopted amendment will provide more efficient and cost-effective advertising filing requirements for Medicare supplement insurance issuers.
3. HOW THE SECTION WILL FUNCTION. The adopted amendment to §3.3313 clarifies that an issuer providing Medicare supplement insurance benefits is not required to submit to the Department for review any institutional advertisements that merely reference Medicare supplement insurance as a line of coverage offered by the issuer.
4. SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND AGENCY RESPONSE. The Department did not receive any comments on the proposed amendment.
5. STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted pursuant to Insurance Code §§1652.001, 1652.005, 36.003, and 36.001. Section 1652.001 provides that an approved regulatory program for Medicare supplement benefit plans means a state regulatory program that complies with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 1395ss. Section 1652.005 authorizes the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt reasonable rules necessary and proper to implement Chapter 1652, including rules adopted in accordance with federal law relating to the regulation of Medicare supplement benefit plan coverage necessary for the state to obtain or retain federal certification as a state with an approved regulatory program. Subsection (b)(3) of 42 U.S.C. 1395ss requires review and approval of Medicare supplement advertising material to the extent authorized by state law. Section 36.003 provides that the Commissioner may not adopt rules restricting advertising or competitive bidding by a person regulated by the Department except to prohibit false, misleading, or deceptive practices. Section 36.001 authorizes the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt any rules necessary and appropriate to implement the powers and duties of the Texas Department of Insurance under the Insurance Code and other laws of this state.
§3.3313. Filing Requirements for Advertising. A Medicare supplement policy shall not be deemed to meet the standards and requirements set forth in this subchapter unless the filing company has complied with the requirements of the following paragraphs.
(1) Every issuer providing Medicare supplement insurance or benefits in this state shall provide to the department for review a copy of any Medicare supplement advertisement, as defined in §21.102 of this title (relating to Scope), other than an institutional advertisement, as defined in §21.102(6) that only references "Medicare supplement" as a line of coverage offered, but which does not otherwise describe Medicare supplement insurance or benefits. The copy of the advertisement shall be submitted to the department no later than 60 days prior to its first use. At the expiration of the 60-day period provided by this paragraph, any advertisement filed with the department shall be deemed acceptable, unless before the end of that 60-day period the department has notified the entity of its nonacceptance.
(2) All advertisements shall comply with all applicable federal and state laws and shall be submitted in accordance with §21.120 of this title (relating to Filing for Review). This section does not require prior departmental approval of the advertisement. Nothing in this section relieves any person from otherwise complying with all applicable laws or from any sanction imposed by law.