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Insurance Commissioners Seek States' Control in Healthcare Reform

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 7, 2010

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners told Congress this week it supports health insurance exchanges but wants them to be established and administered at the state level.

In a letter this week to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, NAIC said it backs the goals of healthcare reform to curb rising costs and improve quality of care. The association offered a qualified endorsement of provisions in the House and Senate bills that would:

  • Extend guaranteed issue protections to the non-group health insurance market

  • Eliminate pre-existing condition exclusions and annual and lifetime limits

  • End the practice of rating policies based upon gender and health

"The NAIC supports these measures, if they are paired with an effective individual mandate to mitigate the risk of adverse selection," said NAIC President and West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane L. Cline in the letter. "We also support the creation of state-based health insurance exchanges to streamline the process of purchasing coverage and make meaningful comparisons of health insurance plans much easier."

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