The 2020 First Extraordinary Session continues through the end of the month of
June, and PIA of Louisiana continues to monitor bills of interest to our membership.
As you've surely heard, while a bipartisan majority passed
during the regular session, the Governor vetoed
SB 418, the Omnibus Premium Reduction Act, last
Friday, June 12th. Unfortunately, an error in drafting bill language created a
significant issue as it pertains to collateral source (the muddied language would
have created a new cause of action entitling a claimant to recover health insurance
premiums). Fortunately, the Legislature was ready with a number of responses to a
On Monday, June 15th, the House of Representatives debated two measures that seek to
reform Louisiana's broken legal system, which we know drives up the cost of auto
insurance for Louisiana policyholders. Both of these bills advanced from the House
floor and were heard in Judiciary A on Wednesday.
PIA Publishes Analysis of Changes to PPP
Congress has passed and President Trump has signed H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection
Program Flexibility Act. The bill extends the window for businesses to be able to spend
the funds loaned under the program. The legislation allows businesses that have received
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to spend a smaller percentage of the money,
60 percent instead of the current 75 percent, on payroll and other qualifying expenses
and still maintain forgiveness eligibility.
The bill also gives businesses some new flexibility by allocating more time for them to
use their PPP funds—24 weeks instead of eight—and extending the deadline for
rehiring workers from June 30 to the end of this year.
PIA National has published a detailed analysis of the changes, written by Lauren
Pachman, Esq., PIA National Counsel and Director of Regulatory Affairs. You can access the
PIA National had urged Congress to repeal the PPP's payroll requirement altogether,
a move that would have provided small businesses with maximum flexibility as they struggle
to stay solvent during this difficult time. PIA National will continue to work to improve
the PPP in future legislation considered by Congress.
States Issue Guidance on Civil Unrest Claims
While many of the recent protests against police violence have been peaceful, businesses
across the country have been affected by looting or vandalism. The New York State Department
of Financial Services issued an
emergency regulation requiring state-regulated insurers to accelerate
the claims process for businesses and individuals suffering damage from a riot or civil
commotion, and the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) similarly issued a
bulletin to insurers requesting them to expedite claims filed by
The Illinois DOI also requests insurers to advance claim payments and "err on the
side of the policyholder" when paying claims as a result of riots, civil commotion, or vandalism.
released by Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman
aims to help business owners understand the terms in their policies and how and when to file
claims. Altman called on carriers to help "the commonwealth and expedite claims processes to
the extent possible to help businesses and communities in need."
Study: Millions Face Double Jeopardy from COVID-19
Researchers at Harvard Medical School and CUNY's Hunter College found that
more than 18 million Americans, most
of whom are minorities and low-income
individuals, are uninsured or underinsured and are at an increased risk of developing severe cases
"Our study shows that minority communities face double jeopardy from COVID-19. On the one hand,
they are at higher risk of severe complications from coronavirus, and on the other hand, they are
more likely to be uninsured and underinsured, and hence to avoid care or to face potentially
ruinous medical bills," said Dr. Adam Gaffney, the study's lead author and a pulmonary and
critical care physician at the Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School.
Black Americans were 42 percent more likely to be at risk for severe COVID-19 and 51 percent
more likely to have inadequate health care coverage than high-risk non-Hispanic whites. Native
Americans were 90 percent more likely to be at high risk for severe COVID-19 and 53 percent more
likely to have inadequate health care coverage. Minorities are at higher risk of contracting
COVID-19 because they are disproportionately represented in many professions deemed essential
and many continued to go to work during lockdowns.
Latest from the PIA Advocacy Blog
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Legislative Update (Part 2)
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Supports Liability Reforms Related to Coronavirus
Pandemic Bill Introduced