By

New Orleans

The 2005 leadership of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners was affirmed during the organizations winter meeting but with a twist.

State insurance commissioners voted to change the bylaws of the organization, based in Kansas City, Mo., to create a post of president-elect.

The lineup for 2005 is similar to an interim lineup named in September after the resignations of then NAIC President Ernst Csiszar and NAIC Vice President Jim Poolman.

The new leadership is as follows: Diane Koken of Pennsylvania as president; Alessandro Iuppa, superintendent of insurance in Maine, president-elect; Joel Ario, Oregon administrator, vice president; and, Sandy Praeger, Kansas commissioner, secretary-treasurer.

During the executive and plenary session the reason offered for creating the post of president-elect was to create an additional officer who could help with the growing workload of national and international commitments. Those commitments were cited as both necessary and time-consuming.

Following her election, Praeger said this is an important time for insurance regulation. She added that one of her focal points will be health insurance. She heads up the Health Insurance and Managed Care (B) Committee.

Cost and availability are major issues that need to be addressed, she said. “With the rising cost of health insurance, it is important to find solutions but ones that do no harm.”

While the NAIC has opposed solutions such as Association Health Plans, she said, other options such as health savings accounts and high deductible plans are possible.

“We are encouraged by what we are seeing in the market with HSAs,” Praeger said. There are options such as HSAs that still provide access to preferred provider organizations, she continued.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Edition, December 10, 2004. Copyright 2004 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.