Crack down on auto insurance cheats

The Independent Democratic Conference wants to target what they call “auto insurance cheats,” and hold them accountable for supposed wrongdoings. The IDC wants to crack down on rate evasion, in which drivers living in areas whose auto insurance rates are high register their vehicles out of state to take advantage of cheaper coverage. Diane Savino, Senator of Staten Island, decried the practice as “an illegal and costly scam.” She claims that rate evasion steals nearly $1 million in revenue for the state each year from registration and other fees. Savino…

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Mississippi state reform takes shape

The Mississippi Senate has taken the first steps in establishing the framework for the state’s insurance exchange program by approving a plan that will allow employers to purchase group health insurance policies from anywhere in the United States. The hope is to bring more options and competitive products by offering consumers the availability of outside markets.  The House passed the bill to enact the exchange by an 83-33 vote on Monday. Supporters of the program say that it is a critical move to help citizens and businesses obtain the coverage they need while providing…

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Insurance bill covering autism under review

Lawmakers in West Virginia are again mulling over a bill that would require both public and private insurance providers to offer coverage of autism spectrum disorders. There is hope among parents of autistic children as well as their supporters that the proposal will finally be approved and pushed into law. More than 23 other states already require insurers to provide autism coverage, increasing the pressure on legislators to make the change. Autism is a neurological disorder and comes in many forms. Typically, those with autism display difficulty communicating effectively, strained…

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Washington state school employees need insurance make-over

A new report from the Auditor’s Office of Washington says that the insurance for the state’s school employees should be streamlined so that it will be more fair and cost effective. The state auditor, Brian Sonntag, said that the system is overly complex. More than 1,000 different funds pay for 200 coverage plans offered by only 10 insurers. In the current system, some employees pay no premiums while others pay over $500 a month and there is little to differentiate the two. The cost of health benefits for 100,000 school…

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California health insurers proposed rate hikes delayed

Early last month, California Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, called for a delay on a proposed rate hike on premiums from Blue Shield. The rate hikes would have raised premiums by at least 60% and would have gone into effect March 1st. Blue Shield has agreed to postpone the hikes for 60 days after becoming the focus of demonstrations from citizens and health care professionals. Blue Shield initiated proposed the rate hikes as a necessary measure in light of the rising cost of medical care and associated expenses. They claim that…

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Federal judge deems mandatory health insurance as unconstitutional

A federal judge in Florida has deemed the health care reform unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge, Roger Vinson, sided with 26 other states in a suit against the bill, arguing that the law violates people’s rights by mandating them to buy health insurance or face costly penalties. Federal attorneys claim that the state has no ground to determine whether the law is or is not unconstitutional. The case is likely to make it to the Supreme Court within the next few months. The provision at the heart of the debate is…

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Health Insurance Exchanges: Important decisions lie ahead

Representatives from nearly every state are deeply torn over the proposed health care reform. With strife growing in Congress, it seems that the only provision of the new law that can be agreed upon is the provision for insurance exchanges. Almost all states are making moves to implement exchanges, the only ones lagging behind doing so simply are because of lack of appropriate funds. Making the changes necessary to facilitate an exchange program are somewhat demanding. Many states have seen downsizing in their staffing and the workload often piles up on…

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North Carolina Republican panel supports health care reform challenge

The assembly voted to include the state into a nationwide lawsuit aimed against mandatory health insurance. This feature of the new health care reform, set to take place in 2014, requires Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a fee. The House vote was 23 to 16 in the latest provision aimed to block imposed health insurance by the Republican Party. “This is designed to protect the vast majority of our citizens from what we believe is an unjustified incursion of government power,” said House Majority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, who sponsored…

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Politicians demand for flood peril to be defined by insurance companies

Insurers in Australia have been confronted with their share of controversy since the floods in Queensland and are now hard pressed to come up with answers. The Minister of Employment and Economic Developement, Andrew Fraser, states there is no obvious difference in damages caused by storm, flash flooding or riverine flooding, and that the clean-up after such damages is indistinguishable. He takes issue with the fact that many insurance policies can draft clear definitions regarding the damage. The issue lies in many insurers refusing, or being unable, to pay for damages…

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Newly proposed crash tax spreading throughout the U.S.

The Sacramento City Council, on Thursday, approved a new city ordinance, known as a “crash tax”, affecting out of town drivers. The tax will be levied against visiting drivers that get into accidents and the funds will be given to the fire department’s response services. The fee would only apply in the non-resident driver was found at fault by insurers. Business owners that live outside of the city but still have property within its limits would be exempt from the crash tax. The ordinance has strong opposition and many are…

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