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Voters Return 3 State Insurance Commissioners to Office

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What You Need to Know

  • California, Georgia and Kansas are keeping their commissioners.
  • The Oklahoma commissioner had no opposition in either the primary or the general election.
  • In Oregon, a health care access rights ballot measure appears to be losing.

Three incumbent insurance commissioners won their elections Tuesday, and a fourth returned to office without facing either a primary or a general election opponent.

The states that are keeping elected commissioners are California, Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma. Gubernatorial races in four other states could affect the fate of appointed commissioners.

Voters also had a chance to weigh in on at least three statewide ballot measures with implications for insurers, agents and advisors.

Massachusetts voters approved an 83% minimum medical loss ratio for dental insurance. A health care access rights measure is trailing in Oregon, and a psychedelic mushroom medical access measure is winning in Colorado.

What It Means

At the state level, the regulatory environment could be relatively stable over the next two years.

State insurance commissioners have a major effect on the consumer protection and solvency rules governing your clients’ life insurance policies and annuities.

Elected Commissioners

Glen Mulready, the Republican insurance commissioner in Oklahoma, faced no opponent in his state’s primary elections and no Democratic or other opponents in the general election.

Here’s a look at the three contested insurance commissioner races.


Ricardo Lara (Democrat): 58% of the vote.

Robert Howell (Republican): 42% of the vote.

94.8% of precincts have reported at least partial results. The complete will tally will include many vote-by-mail ballots.

The vote tally is here.


John King (Republican): 54%

Janice Laws Robinson (Democrat): 46%

98.7% of counties have reported their results.

The vote tally is here.


Vicki Schmidt (Republican): 63%

Kiel Corkran (Democrat): 37%

All precincts have reported their results.

The vote tally is here.

Appointed Commissioners

Most states let governors appoint insurance commissioners.

Many states held no gubernatorial elections this fall. In most of the states that did vote on governors, an incumbent, or a member of the incumbent’s party, won.

At press time, Maryland and Massachusetts had voted to switch the party affiliations of their governors. Both states currently have Republican governors and are on track to have Democratic governors in 2023.

Wes Moore won the governor’s race in Maryland, with 59% of the vote, and Maura Healey has won the governor’s race in Massachusetts, with 63% of the vote.

Four other states — Alaska, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon — had gubernatorial elections with outcomes that were not yet clear.

Ballot Measures

Here’s a look at three statewide ballot insurers that could come up in conversations with clients.

Colorado — Proposition 122: Access to Natural Psychedelic Substances

This measure calls for the state to decriminalize personal possession and use of psilocybin, psilocin, dimethyltryptamine, ibogaine and mescaline by people ages 21 and older and to allow supervised medical use of those substances.

The board in charge of implementing the measure would include members with health insurance experience. One of the board’s duties would be to look at whether health insurers should cover those types of plant-based natural medications.

The measure appears to be passing, with 50.66% of the vote.

All counties have reported results.

The vote tally is here.

Massachusetts — Question 2: Regulation of Dental Insurance

This statute will require a dental insurer covering people in Massachusetts to spend at least 83% of its premium revenue on dental expenses and efforts to improve the quality of care, rather than on administrative expenses or profits.

The measure has passed, with 71.3% of the votes counted so far.

Massachusetts has not yet posted state-collected results. WCVB, a Boston television station, has posted preliminary results collected by the Associated Press. The WCVB election results report is here.

AP estimates that those figures include 90% of the votes cast.

Oregon — Measure 111: State Must Ensure Affordable Healthcare Access, Balanced Against Requirement to Fund Schools, Other Essential Services

This measure would change the Oregon state constitution to make access to affordable health care a fundamental right while balancing that right against the need for the state to pay for schools and other essential services.

The measure appears to be losing, with 49.54% of the vote.

64% of counties have reported their results.

The vote tally is here.

(Image: Shutterstock)


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