NU Online News Service, March 10, 2004, 5:53 p.m. EST – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., may slow efforts to approve a major market conduct proposal.[@@]

NAIC leaders had recommended that the group hurry to consider and adopt the Market Conduct Surveillance model law. The National Conference of State Legislators, Albany, N.Y., approved the model Feb. 27.

But regulators who participated in an NAIC discussion Tuesday decided to send the model to the NAIC’s executive committee and plenary with a note that technical and substantive changes will be considered.

If a consensus on changes cannot be reached by June, regulators will vote on NCOIL’s text, regulators said.

Joel Ario, NAIC secretary-treasurer and Oregon insurance administrator, warned that the process would get bogged down if it was opened up again.

The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, and the American Insurance Association, Washington, both support advancing the model in its current form. Birny Birnbaum, an NAIC-funded consumer representative and executive director of the Center for Economic Justice, Austin, Texas, also supports advancing the current version of the model.

But representatives for 12 states that participated in the NAIC discussion recommended waiting until the summer meeting in June to act. Only 5 states supported advancing the model for possible adoption at the spring meeting, which starts March 13 in New York.

Industry groups that recommended giving the approval process more time included America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington; the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Indianapolis; and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Des Plaines, Ill.