|SAME AS||SAME AS S03614|
|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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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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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. LBD01672-01-7A. 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.