Members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners have voted to make 3 temporary officers official 2005 officers.[@@]

The state insurance commissioners who belong to the NAIC also voted to change the Kansas City, Mo., group’s bylaws, to create a new president-elect post.

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Diane Koken will be the NAIC’s president in 2005.

The other 2005 officers will be Maine Superintendent of Insurance Alessandro Iuppa, president-elect; Oregon Insurance Administrator Joel Ario, vice president; and Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, secretary-treasurer.

Koken has been the NAIC’s interim president. Ario has been the interim vice president, and Iuppa has been the interim secretary-treasurer.

The NAIC ended up with 3 interim officers earlier this fall, after the former president, Ernst Csiszar of South Carolina, resigned to become president of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Des Plaines, Ill., and the former vice president, Jim Poolman of North Dakota, resigned to spend more time with his family. Ario, who had been secretary-treasurer, created the third vacancy, when he moved up to take over as vice president.

According to several sources, the election for one spot was a tie and had to be recast.

During a joint executive and plenary session, officials said the NAIC was creating the president-elect post to give the top officers help with their growing workload.

Praeger, the new secretary-treasurer, said one of her major interests will be health insurance. Praeger heads the NAIC’s Health Insurance and Managed Care (B) Committee.

“With the rising cost of health insurance, it is important to find solutions, but ones that do no harm,” Praeger said.

She said that the NAIC has opposed association health plan proposals but that it views health savings accounts and high-deductible plans as possible solutions.

“We are encouraged by what we are seeing in the market with HSAs,” Praeger said.

Praeger said she has promoted Medicaid expansion in Kansas through a partnership between business organizations and health care organizations.

Praeger’s predecessor as Kansas commissioner, Kathleen Sebelius, is a former NAIC president. Sebelius is now governor of Kansas.