Both consumer advocates and insurers called on commissioners to open up their meetings so that input could be offered on what they say are “substantive” changes to a policy of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
The catalyst for the criticism during the NAIC’s summer meeting here was a change in a model law policy that will separate out models targeted for widespread uniform adoption by two-thirds or more of state commissioners and other proposals, hence to be called guidelines, that will not be prescriptive.
Birny Birnbaum, an NAIC-funded consumer representative, said he would rather be talking about substantive issues such as the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act or stranger-owned life insurance, but that the NAIC’s closed-meeting policy on the development of a “fundamental” change to its model law development illustrates a failure to involve its stakeholders.
Birnbaum asked why the meetings that led up to the announcement were done in executive sessions. He also called on the NAIC to hold a public hearing on the issue and, based on the feedback offered during that hearing, make a decision on whether to proceed with the model law policy change.
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The new policy may have merit, but because stakeholders did not have the opportunity to listen to discussions about why it should be implemented, there is no way to determine this, he said.