NU Online News Service, Feb. 4, 2004, 1:32 p.m. EST, Washington – The head of AAHP-HIAA says state insurance regulators have to improve state regulation quickly.[@@]
Otherwise, momentum will build in Congress to create consistency, clarity and fairness, AAHP-HIAA President Karen Ignagni said earlier this week here at the annual meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.
Although health insurers appreciate the NAIC’s commitment to improving the system, the reality is that, for health insurers and managed care firms, insurance regulation is neither modern, consistent nor, in many cases, workable, Ignagni said.
“Over the years, many states have created an environment that fails to serve consumers by simply layering regulatory requirement over regulatory requirement with no real benefit to consumers, to regulators or to the industry,” Ignagni said.
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Moreover, she said, while she is confident that the entire NAIC Executive Committee has a strong commitment to uniformity, it is critical that this commitment be shared by the staff who sit on the various NAIC task forces and working groups as well as by commissioners’ teams at home.
However, Ignagni said, to date that has not been the case.
“The reluctance to embrace a common objective of uniformity has been a major impediment to achieving regulatory reform at the NAIC,” she said.
Ignagni cited 4 areas that health insurers and health plans see as being of primary importance.
These include the market conduct process, the financial examination process, speed-to-market and external review.