WSR 98-07-104

EXPEDITED ADOPTION

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE

[Insurance Commissioner Matter No. R 98-9--Filed March 18, 1998, 11:11 a.m.]



Title of Rule: Repeating continuing education courses

Purpose: Permit licensees to repeat a course three years after they took a course

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 48.02.060, 48.17.150

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 48.17.150

Summary: Currently, licensees are not allowed to ever repeat a continuing education course for the purpose of fulfilling continuing education requirements. This rule would enable licensees to repeat a course after three years have passed since they took the course

Reasons Supporting Proposal: This will be beneficial to licensees by allowing them to take courses that may have been updated to refresh their knowledge of subject matter. Providers and licensees are only required to maintain records for three years but the Office of the Insurance Commissioner maintains records in perpetuity, this will considerably lessen the amount of records that must be maintained

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Jon Hedegard, Lacey, Washington, (360) 407-0728; Implementation: Sue Davidson, Lacey, Washington, (360) 438-7708; and Enforcement: Erika Taylor, Lacey, Washington, (360) 438-7707

Name of Proponent: Deborah Senn, Insurance Commissioner, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Current regulations prohibit licensees from repeating a continuing education class and using the credits to satisfy continuing education requirements. This system prevents a licensee from possibly taking one class over and over which would defeat the intent of continuing education. This system does have some drawbacks. Licensees cannot refresh their knowledge with a class they may have taken a decade or two decades earlier. A class may be updated to reflect changes in the field or in the law but a licensee cannot benefit from the changed curriculum unless it is presented in an entirely different class. While there are many classes available, a licensee can over time, end up with a limited selection of classes that are available and are useful to improving their knowledge and job performance. Finally, it is an administrative burden upon the agency to maintain records of every class that every licensee has ever taken. This is necessary to fulfill the current regulations but it is time-consuming, costly, and uses vast amounts of computer memory. Licensees currently have to maintain records for the previous three years. If they cannot remember if they have taken a class previously, they call the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to determine if they would be repeating a class.

Licensees have asked the commissioner to change the existing continuing education requirement and the change was expedited in the course of the commissioner's regulatory improvement process. The change in the regulation will enable a licensee to repeat a class for the purpose of fulfilling the existing continuing education requirements after three years have elapsed. This will enable licensees to take classes that have been updated and expand the available curriculum. Enabling a licensee to repeat a class after three years will also parallel the requirement that the licensee must maintain the records for three years. This will reduce calls to the agency and relieve some of the burdens upon the agency. The reduced recordkeeping of the agency will also relieve administrative burdens. Since the licensee can only repeat the class after three years, there should be no adverse impact by limiting their education. The opposite should be true, the licensees will find it easier to take classes that keep them apprised of changes in their fields of interest

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: WAC 284-17-220 will be amended to permit licensees to repeat a course three years after they took the course

NOTICE

THIS RULE IS BEING PROPOSED TO BE ADOPTED USING AN EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR THE AGENCY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS, PREPARE A SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, OR PROVIDE RESPONSES TO THE CRITERIA FOR A SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE RULE. IF YOU OBJECT TO THIS RULE BEING ADOPTED USING THE EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS, YOU MUST EXPRESS YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING AND THEY MUST BE SENT TO Kacy Brandeberry, Office of the Insurance Commissioner, P.O. Box 40256, Olympia, WA 98504-0256, e-mail KacyB@oic.wa.gov, AND RECEIVED BY May 16, 1998

March 18, 1998

Edward Fleisher

Deputy Insurance Commissioner

OTS-2087.1

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 97-19-007, filed 9/4/97, effective 10/5/97)



WAC 284-17-220  Continuing education requirement. (1) Twenty-four credit hours of approved continuing education must be presented as a prerequisite to each license renewal or reinstatement.

(2)(a) Effective July 1, 1996, the number of required continuing education credit hours will be increased from twenty-four to thirty-two hours for each two-year licensing period.

(b)(i) Resident and nonresident licensees engaged in the transaction of long-term care insurance, long-term care partnership insurance, or both, are required to take an approved six-hour course on long-term care, long-term care partnership, or both, every two years. The commissioner shall prescribe the content of the course. Each course shall be approved by the commissioner in advance.

(ii) Effective January 1, 1998, a resident or nonresident licensee shall not submit an application for a long-term care or long-term care partnership policy to an issuer unless he or she has completed the approved course.

(iii) The approved six-hour course may count towards the thirty-two required continuing education credit hours set forth in (a) of this subsection.

(iv) An issuer of long-term care or long-term care partnership policies shall annually certify to the commissioner that:

(A) Its affiliated resident and nonresident licensees involved in the transaction of long-term care or long-term care partnership policies have completed the approved six-hour course requirement every two years; and

(B) The issuer has only accepted applications from resident and nonresident licensees in compliance with the provisions of (b)(i) of this subsection.

The certification shall be filed with the commissioner on or before March 31 of each year.

(c) Each course credit applied toward satisfaction of the continuing education requirement must have been completed within the twenty-four month period immediately preceding the licensee's assigned license renewal date and the credit may not have been used previously to comply with the continuing education requirement.

(3) The course participated in and for which credit is received shall be reported to the commissioner as part of the application for license renewal and shall be subject to verification by audit.

(4) ((Repeating)) An approved course for which the licensee has previously claimed credit ((will not satisfy the continuing education requirement)) may be repeated for credit after a period of three years from the previous completion date.

(5) The licensee must retain the certificate of completion for three years from the date on the certificate and must present the original of such certificate upon request of or audit by the commissioner.



[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060, 48.17.150 and 48.85.030. 97-19-007, 284-17-220, filed 9/4/97, effective 10/5/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060, 48.17.150, 48.20.450, 48.85.030 and 48.85.040. 96-17-029 (Matter No. R 95-16), 284-17-220, filed 8/13/96, effective 9/13/96. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.01.030, 48.02.060(3), 48.14.010, 48.17.150(2), 48.17.160 (1)(5) and 48.17.500(3). 94-14-033 (Order R 94-14), 284-17-220, filed 6/28/94, effective 7/29/94. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060. 89-19-037 (Order R 89-10), 284-17-220, filed 9/15/89, effective 10/16/89. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060 and 48.17.150. 81-18-049 (Order R 81-5), 284-17-220, filed 8/31/81. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.17.150 as amended by 1979 ex.s. c 269 7,10. 80-04-042 (Order R 80-3), 284-17-220, filed 3/20/80.]

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