The Washington Department of Insurance will hold a public hearing 1 p.m. Dec. 8 to review a proposal for limiting health insurance carriers’ surplus.[@@]

“Given today’s climate where carriers are experiencing record profits, yet health insurance premiums continue to rise faster than the rate of inflation, we need to ask, ‘How much is too much?’” says Washington State Insurance Commissioner Michael Kreidler.

The Washington department is inviting health and disability insurers to participate in the hearing and will give the insurers a list of questions before the hearing starts, officials say.

Agents, brokers, consumer groups and other concerned parties also are invited to testify, officials say.

The hearing will take place in the State Capitol Legislative Building in Olympia, Wash.

More information about the hearing is on the Web at http://www.insurance.wa.gov/news/dynamic/newsreleasedetail.asp?rcdNum=479