New laws highlight beginning of 2007

Posted By | January 8, 2007 12:00 am

Kim Swindell Wood
Tennesseans have only 10 new laws taking effect his month opposed to the usual annual list that contains several pages of legislation.
The new laws, which took effect Jan. 1, 2007, cover everything from taxes to insurance to elections.
The lengthiest law is labeled the Cemetery Act of 2006.
The provisions of this chapter apply to all cemeteries, community and public mausoleums, whether operated for profit or not for profit, within the state of Tennessee. However, some cemeteries are exempt.
The 39-page document details the requirements for such things as the upkeep of cemeteries, information about stockholders and what is legally required of the owners.
Another law of interest establishes requirements for notice to a spouse prior to insurance coverage being terminated because of divorce or separation.
This law amends Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 56, Chapter 7.
Every insured or policy holder of a group policy of accident and sickness insurance offered for sale in Tennessee, which provides coverage for hospital or medical expenses that also provides coverage to the spouse of the insured, will be required to provide at least 30 days prior notice of the termination of coverage to the covered spouse when a divorce, a legal separation, or other separation, between the insured and the covered spouse has occurred or has been filed for by the husband or wife or such divorce or separation has become final.
The notice must be written and sent by certified mail to the last known address of the spouse. The notice will inform the spouse who is to be terminated about the cut-off date. The new law also has provisions for employers.
County registers may now designate a person to serve as a member of the county public records commission in place of the register. This amends the wording of the law already in existence.
A probate law was revised about the creditor status of TennCare in pursuing a claim against a decedent’s estate. The law also requires additional notices of the death of a TennCare recipient to be provided to the Bureau of TennCare.
An additional new law requires health insurance entities that contract with the state and perform services for TennCare to establish procedures for reimbursing physicians employed by federally qualified health centers. The law also authorizes these entities to establish an expedited credentialing process.
Legislation for contractors will require that all pre-licensing courses designed to assist an applicant with the examination for licensure must be board approved. The law also authorizes members to monitor a course without paying the course fee.
Taxes are affected by the revision of dates applicable to deposits and payments in regard to the telecommunications ad valorem tax reduction fund.
Public contracts also highlight the list. This law prevents any person from contracting with the state or any state entity, or bidding for such a contract, for a period of one year from the discovery the person receives services from illegal immigrants. It also requires those who contract or bid to contract with the state to attest they will not knowingly use services of illegal immigrants.
A new election law revises the required percentage and notice requirements for write-in candidates. Some other election laws are also revised.
New legislation also authorizes the commissioner of commerce and insurance to promulgate rules about the filing of annual statements and payment of annual filing fees. These rules may allow electronic filing and revises fees under the Insurance Producer Licensing Act.
For detailed information about the laws log onto the Tennessee Legislature website at www.legislature.state.tn.us/

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