Are no-fault insurance laws creating fertile ground for fraudlent claims activity?

Florida legislators are facing pressure to make changes to the state’s no-fault auto insurance laws. Several insurers want to see changes that would help reduce the amount of fraudulent claims they are receiving. State law requires that drivers have personal injury protection coverage that would help them pay medical expenses whether or not they were at fault. The law is designed to avoid lawsuits but insurers are saying that it is creating incentive for drivers to stage accidents. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, along with the Florida Chamber…

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Forced place insurance for businesses in Austrailia

In light of the recent disasters befalling the nation, the Australian government may be setting up an inquiry to determine whether states should be forced to purchase commercial insurance policies to cover natural disasters. Legislators are currently pushing to pass a $1.8 billion deal that would help reconstruct levees. The possibility of an inquiry was raised when Treasurer Wayne Swan suggested that there “legitimate questions” about what states had done regarding insurance. Swan said that “it is probably timely for us to evaluate all of those questions, to have a…

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Light on the horizon for Massachusetts health insurance rate hikes

A year after insurers battled over premium increases with Governor Deval Patrick in Massachusetts, they are now seeking to increase rates by 10% or less. Insurers struggled with the Governor after proposing rate increase between 12% and 25%. This unsettled the community and the ensuing battle lasted for five months. In an effort to avoid another stand-off, the companies are limiting themselves to mostly single digit increases. “The dynamic has been changed for health care in this state,” says Barbara Anthony, undersecretary of consumer affairs and business regulation in Massachusetts.…

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Insurance companies ask for more time

Insurance companies are asking President Obama and his administration to slow down with their up and coming decision on if the industry, along with non-banking financial companies, warrant further scrutiny. The administration is eyeballing the market as being deemed as a potential risk to the financial standing of the country, along with banks, and should be put to higher standards in hopes to avoid the same financial meltdown of 2008. According to the insurance industry, they would like the Treasury Department to hold the finalization of these rules and wait for…

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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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