State Insurance Commissioner pushes proposed bill - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State Insurance Commissioner pushes proposed bill

January 22, 2008

Albany -- The State Insurance Commissioner wants health insurance companies to prove they need a rate hike before they can increase their customers costs.

 Commissioner John Oxendine is pushing a bill that will be introduced in the General Assembly next week.

Oxendine talked about House Bill 923 in Albany Tuesday. Companies that sell auto and home insurance have to go before the state Insurance Department and show cause for a rate increase in Georgia. Health insurance is the only category not bound by that law.

Oxendine says the bill is one step toward controlling the spiraling cost of health care and insurance. Oxendine said "we want health insurance companies to open up their books and operate in the light of day. And if they want to go up on you, they should have the nerve to come before the state. Show the math, show the actuarial justification why they want to go up."

Oxendine said large health insurance companies are hiring extra lobbyists to fight the bill.

Oxendine is traveling the state telling people about the proposed bill and says so far no one has told him they oppose it.

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