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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 10: Inspection and examination of corporate affairs; access to information; confidentiality and privilege

Section 10. The commissioner of insurance or any deputy or other person whom the said commissioner shall designate shall, at least once in three years and whenever he deems it to be prudent, visit any such medical service corporation and examine into its affairs, shall have free access to all of the books, papers and documents of the corporation that relate to its business and may summon as witnesses and examine under oath its officers, agents or employees or other persons in relation to its affairs, transactions and condition. The commissioner of insurance shall require every such corporation to keep its books, records, accounts and vouchers in such manner that he or his authorized representatives may readily verify its annual statements and ascertain whether the corporation has complied with the law. The commissioner of insurance is authorized and directed on request of the commissioner of public health to advise him on any financial, accounting, bookkeeping or other similar question arising out of the operation of any medical service plan.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the General Laws, including clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4 and chapter 66, documents, materials or other information, including but not limited to, all working papers and copies thereof created, produced or obtained by or disclosed to the commissioner or any other person in the course of an examination made pursuant to this section or in the course of analysis by the commissioner of the financial condition or market conduct of a medical service corporation shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be a public record under said clause Twenty-sixth, shall not be subject to subpoena and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action. The commissioner may use the documents, materials or other information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as part of the commissioner's official duties.

Documents, materials or other information, including but not limited to, all working papers and copies thereof in the possession or control of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to subpoena and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action if they are:

(i) created, produced, obtained by or disclosed to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries in the course of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries assisting an examination made pursuant to this section or assisting the commissioner in the analysis of the financial condition or market conduct of a medical service corporation; or

(ii) disclosed to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries pursuant to this section by any member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Neither the commissioner nor any person who received the documents, material or other information while acting under the authority of the commissioner, including the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries, shall be permitted to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials or information subject to this section.

In order to assist in the performance of the commissioner's duties, the commissioner:

(i) may share documents, materials or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials or information subject to this section, with other state, federal and international regulatory agencies, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries and state, federal and international law enforcement authorities provided that the recipient agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the document, material, communication or other information;

(ii) may receive documents, materials, communications or information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials or information, from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries and regulatory and law enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions and shall maintain as confidential or privileged any document, material or information received with notice or the understanding that it is confidential or privileged under the laws of the jurisdiction that is the source of the document, material or information; and

(iii) may enter into agreements governing sharing and use of information consistent with this section.

No waiver of any applicable privilege or claim of confidentiality in the documents, materials or information shall occur as a result of disclosure to the commissioner under this section or as a result of sharing as authorized in this section.

A privilege established under the law of any state or jurisdiction that is substantially similar to the privilege established under this section shall be available and enforced in any proceeding in and in any court of the commonwealth.