D.C. Commissioner Puts Some Questions To NAICs Questioners

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If consumer advocates, insurers and producers had questions regarding a new product filing entity, Larry Mirel, commissioner of the District of Columbia, had a few questions of his own.

During a public hearing on an interstate compact draft (see page 64) that would create a single point of filing for life insurance products, Mirel turned the tables on those testifying.

He asked speakers during the hearing of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., to provide details of their organizations, including their purpose, membership, budget and where funding came from.

“It is important to know in order to judge the comments that are being made,” Mirel said.

In response to Mirels question, Alice Weiss, director of health policy with the National Partnership for Women and Families, Washington, noted that she and other consumer representatives participating in the hearing by telephone had been appointed as funded consumer representatives by the NAIC.

“We have been appointed by the NAIC on its determination that we represent consumer interests.”

Listed below are some of the responses to Mirels queries:

Brendan Bridgeland, director, Center for Insurance Research, Cambridge, Mass.

The Center has 120 members. “We dont have a list that we pass out,” but it is funded from donations and private grants.

Van Ellet, senior legislative representative, AARP, Washington.

The AARP has 35 million members and a budget of $500 million to $600 million.

Bonnie Burns, director of consumer education, California Health Advocates, Scotts Valley, Calif.

CHA is an association of senior health workers with 36 members and “a budget of $200,000 and dropping.”

William Anderson, vice president and associate general counsel, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va.

NAIFA is an association of 70,000 life and health advisors with an annual budget of $15 million.

Alice Weiss, director of health policy with the National Partnership of Women and Families, Washington.

The National Partnership is not a membership organization. Its focus is workplace fairness issues and health care. It has a budget of $1 million from major donors and foundations.

Cathy Steinberg, the consumer advocate for the state of Georgia.

The office represents all the citizens of Georgia. It has a staff of 13 people and a budget of $900,000 that becomes “littler and littler” with budget cuts.

Birny Birnbaum, executive director, The Center for Economic Justice, Austin, Texas.

The organization represents consumers including low-income consumers. “Our budget is a couple of hundred grand that we receive from public and private foundations. We have not received our stipend this year from the Trial Lawyers Association.”

Patricia Parachini, senior director, office of the general counsel with the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington.

The ACLI represents 390 life insurance companies. It is a nonprofit organization that has a budget of $34 million.

As for the NAIC itself, it is a 501(c)3 organization with projected revenues of $52,947,218 in 2003, according to a published projected budget. It is funded through state assessments, database fees, publications/subscriptions, national meeting registration fees, investment income and education programs.

State assessments are expected to comprise $1,815,604 in 2003, database fees, $23,498,875, and publications/subscriptions, $13,546,705.

NAIC salaries are expected to total $23,301,951 in 2003, according to the NAIC proposed budget.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, November 18, 2002. Copyright 2002 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.