California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara Apologizes for Accepting Industry Contributions

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara - Government Portrait from 2016

Lara released a letter last week that acknowledged that his campaign had solicited those contributions. California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has said he was sorry for having both solicited campaign contributions from the insurance industry and for having accepted them. Last Tuesday, he issued a letter in which he acknowledged the activity as well as his regret for having done so despite a campaign pledge he had made not to accept contributions from insurers. The letter was issued to a number of groups, including Public Advocates, United Policyholders and Health…

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Massachusetts Governor Baker signs Anti-gender discrimination bill

Anti-Gender discrimination law - male & female

House Bill 842 prevents insurance companies from using gender to charge higher premiums. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a new anti-gender discrimination bill. House Bill 842 makes it illegal for insurance companies to increase premiums based on whether an applicant is a man or woman. Traditionally, women pay more for the same disability insurance protection in Massachusetts. Governor Baker was joined by several other legislature members. This included HB 842’s main sponsor, State Representative Ruth Balser as well as house speaker Robert DeLeo. For more than a decade, Balser has…

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Government shutdown stops worker pay but not heath care coverage

Government Shutdown - Sorry we're closed sign

As this record breaking ongoing shutdown continues, federal employees continue their health insurance. The government shutdown continues to stop 800,000 federal employees and others from receiving their paychecks. That said, as they go unpaid, many have questions about their employee health insurance and other health benefits. Workers are worrying about their health, vision, dental and long-term care coverage. For those who wonder about their insurance benefits, most will continue even while workers go unpaid. Federal employees, for the most part, don’t need to worry that the government shutdown will affect…

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Travel insurance benefits may not be worth it, says Senator

Travel insurance benefits - airport

Senator Edward J. Markey from Massachusetts released a report casting doubt on the coverage. Democrat Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts issued a new report focusing on travel insurance benefits and whether or not they hold value. In it, he examined the travel insurance industry as a whole within the United States. According to Senator Markey, travelers aren’t getting the coverage they think they are. According to Markey’s report, travelers from the United States “get much less coverage…than they are led to believe.” This conclusion was based on an investigation…

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Health insurance industry begins showing support for presidential candidates

The health insurance industry is beginning to show tentative support for political candidates in the upcoming election season, according to research from the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit political research group. The two candidates receiving this support are Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama – the only candidates to have shown support for a health insurance mandate. Such mandates stand to benefit the health insurance industry and throwing support behind the candidate with the most popular health care policy may prove to be lucrative in the future. Health…

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Health insurance exchanges may be tilted in favor of insurance companies, thanks to new rules provided by the HHS

On Monday, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, unveiled a sleuth of federal rules that are to be used in governing health insurance exchanges. The rules, which will be in effect regardless of whether states choose to set up and exchanges themselves or pass that burden to the federal government, have a particular leaning in favor of insurers. This has drawn sharp criticism from legislators and the public, as the exchange programs have always been lauded as being consumer friendly. Now, there are concerns that…

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Insurers lobby for segregation from the international banking system, turn to Obama for aid

The U.S. government is being asked to support a new measure before the U.N. that would separate banks and insurance companies from the Financial Stability Board’s efforts to overhaul the international banking system. Several insurance company trade groups have been partitioning President Obama to join other G20 leaders in these efforts, hoping that the added support will affect the measure toward their goals. Insurers are concerned with this issue because one set of regulations is being used to govern both banking institutions and insurance companies. Given the recent failings of…

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