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Bill to protect health insurance consumers
scheduled for hearing

February 2, 2011

HELENA, Mont – House Bill 128, carried by Rep. Pat Noonan (D-Butte) and proposed by Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica J. Lindeen, is scheduled for hearing on Thursday, February 3rd, at 8 am, in the House Business and Labor Committee. HB 128 gives the Commissioner’s office the ability to protect consumers by enforcing market reforms to health insurance policies that went into effect upon issue or renewal after September 23, 2010.

The market reforms in HB 128 are already in effect for most health plans and health insurers doing business in Montana have filed amended policy forms with the Commissioner’s office in order to implement the changes. This bill puts into state law these same market reforms which allow the Commissioner to enforce the law if a consumer has a complaint with a non-compliant company. The Commissioner’s office would be unable to assist consumers with complaints if HB 128 is not passed. Instead, consumers would be forced to call a federal office to file their complaints.

“Many Montanans are grateful to have already reaped the benefits of these critical reforms,” said Lindeen, “and I know from visiting with folks across the state that they would much rather call my office instead of a federal office if they have an issue with their insurance company.”