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A00103 Summary:

BILL NOA00103
 
SAME ASSAME AS S03614
 
SPONSORCahill
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add 210-a, Ins L
 
Creates the office of insurance consumer advocate within the department of financial services; provides that the office shall consist of five members; describes powers and duties; provides that such office be funded by an assessment upon domestic insurers and licensed U.S. branches of alien insurers domiciled in NYS.
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A00103 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A103
 
SPONSOR: Cahill
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to establishing the office of insurance consumer advocate within the department of financial services and describing its powers and duties   SUMMARY: The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 210-a to create the Office of Insurance Consumer Advocate. The duties of such will include, but not be limited to the review of rate applications, participation in public hearings, and the review and recommendation of legislation related to improving the insurance process for consumers.   JUSTIFICATION: On April 7, 1986 a report of the Governor's Advisory commission on Liability Insurance, "INSURING OUR FUTURE" - commonly known as the Jones Commission Report - embraced the idea of creating an Office of Insurance Consumer Advocate. The report stated that, "Although the Insurance Department generally attends to the interests of insurance consumers, there is no New York State appointee who is exclusively charged with that task of representing consumer interests with respect to insurance matters." The report continues by stressing that the rate-making process cannot be completely fair unless "a named individual is designated to represent this interest (consumer) and is given full access to the information necessary to intervene on an informed timely basis." This recommendation is similar to the Texas law which established the Division of Consumer protection within the State Board of Insurance to represent the interest of insurance consumers statewide, with this report in mind, with the Texas model as an example, and with the large rate hikes that have been awarded to health insurance carriers, now is the time to ensure that consumers' point of view is adequately repres- ented. These increases have a detrimental effect on all policyholders, but especially those with fixed incomes. Such increases could force many senior citizens to cancel coverage. Such issues must be fully analyzed before a rate increase is granted. customers cannot continue to sustain these drastic increases.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2015-2016: A7991 - Referred to Insurance 2013-14: S.3239 - Referred to Insurance 2012: S.6210 - Referred to Insurance 2011: S.2220 (Kruger) - Referred to Insurance   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Not known at this time.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect 60 days after it shall have become law.
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A00103 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                           103
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                       (Prefiled)
 
                                     January 4, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. CAHILL -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Insurance
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  insurance  law, in relation to establishing the
          office of insurance consumer advocate within the department of  finan-
          cial services and describing its powers and duties

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section  210-a
     2  to read as follows:
     3    §  210-a.  Office  of insurance consumer advocate. (a) There is hereby
     4  created within the department the office of insurance consumer advocate,
     5  hereafter referred to in this section as the office. Such  office  shall
     6  consist  of five members, three of whom shall be appointed by the secre-
     7  tary of state and two of whom shall be appointed by the  superintendent.
     8  Members of the office shall receive no compensation for their service as
     9  members,  but  shall  be  allowed  their  actual  and necessary expenses
    10  incurred in the performance of their duties.
    11    (b) The office, together with the department of state, shall:
    12    (1) Assess the impact of insurance  regulatory  actions  on  New  York
    13  consumers.  Such assessment shall include the review of applications for
    14  subscriber rate changes filed by  health  insurance  providers  licensed
    15  pursuant  to  article forty-three of this chapter and article forty-four
    16  of the public health law.
    17    (2) Appear at public hearings as a representative of consumers, treat-
    18  ed as a class, with respect to rate-setting matters that are before  the
    19  superintendent that affect the consuming public.
    20    (3)  Possess  all rights and powers of any party at interest appearing
    21  before the department with regard to examination  and  cross-examination
    22  of witnesses and presentation of evidence.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01672-01-7

        A. 103                              2
 
     1    (4)  Have  access as any party, other than staff, to all records gath-
     2  ered by the department including nonprivileged material which  is  rele-
     3  vant  to  the  subject  matter  involved  in such proceedings before the
     4  department.
     5    (5)  Recommend  insurance-related  legislation  to  the legislature in
     6  consultation with the department of state that  in  its  judgment  would
     7  positively affect the interests of consumers.
     8    The  office  shall  not preempt the appearance of other consumer advo-
     9  cates at any official proceedings.
    10    (c) The office shall be funded by  an  assessment  upon  all  domestic
    11  insurers and all licensed United States branches of alien insurers domi-
    12  ciled  in  this  state  in the same manner as such insurers are assessed
    13  pursuant to section three hundred thirty-three  of  this  chapter.  Such
    14  assessment  shall be for the purpose of defraying the costs of creating,
    15  administering and operating the office.
    16    § 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
    17  have become a law.
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