An increase in rate change oversight for the Insurance Commissioner?

HB 923, sponsored by Reps. Carl Rogers (R-Gainesville), Ben Harbin (R- Evans), Mark Burkhalter (R- Duluth) and Jay Shaw (D-Lakeland) and introduced in the General Assembly, would giver Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine “the authority to approve or reject rate increase requests by health insurers,” according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. If 923 passes, “health insurance companies will not be allowed to issue new health insurance products or impose renewal increases on health products until rates have been approved” and “premium rates will be subject to extensive new supporting data requirements.”

“If this bill is enacted, we will be able to make sure insurance companies are held accountable when they file health rate increases,” Oxendine said. “We will be empowered to hold the line on increases, and make sure that health rates are in line with market realities. With these and other changes allowed by this bill, we intend to check the rapid rise in health insurance costs.”

9 comments

  1. Bill Simon says:

    Wow. I am amazed Burkhalter’s name is on this bill. Usually, he takes the side of the corporate lobbyists.

    Or…maybe the insurance lobbyists weren’t able to schmooze him like the AGL Resources folks were last year.

  2. Oh joy be the Kingdom! A Fox guarding the Hen House. and the Perdues and Cagles guarding the Chicken Houses… Surely the people will enjoy their cake…

    Please take a moment to meet our Georgia Insurance Commissioner, John Oxendine.

    Call Oxendine personally for help and within the first five minutes, he will mention he has an election coming up and hint at a contribution, then you can get to the business of the Insurance Commissioner’s Office. It happened to me, it can happen to you…

    2007 Campaign Contributions to Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine: Total: $ $650,537.00

    July 1, 2007 thru December 31, 2007
    Contributions: $ 443,237.00

    January 1, 2007 thru June 30, 2007
    Contributions: $ 207,300.00

    source: http://www.ethics.ga.gov

    Since the Georgia Legislators don’t have the moxy to do it, maybe t’s time to rein in the Power of runaway Insurance Commissioners from the Federal Level…

    No one Individual should have that much control over your Health Care decisions.

  3. jsm says:

    Ox was in Gainesville recently saying that other types of insurance companies (auto, home, life, etc.) have to open their books to the gov’t every year and justify their rates. He felt like health insurers should have to do the same.

    Sounds like Rogers was listening.

  4. Ox must have whispered it to a Waffle House Waitress while soliciting a campaign contribution because we sure didn’t hear it down here.

    Here is how it will go down. Hudgens will claim the multitude of Ins Cmte Bills distracted him and then start yelling that everyone doesn’t know how things work under the gold dome.

    Then in order to make himself look good, Knox will file a similar bill within the last 15 minutes of the session on crossover day and cancel the committee meeting, after everyone concerned has driven to ATL.

    But simply threatening to introduce these type of Bills does seem to increase Insurance Company Contributions.

    Which is what it is all about under the Gold Dome and in the Ins Commissioner’s Office.

    Yes, Ralph, unfortunately we do know how things work under the Gold Dome.

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