The State Insurance Commissioner is an appointed position in 39 states, while elections are held in the remaining 11 states. This year five of the elected positions were up for a vote. The Washington State Insurance Commissioner won re-election, but four other states are welcoming a new Commissioner following either retirements or contested election battles.
Details on state insurance posts and the outlook for federal changes in the insurance industry, including Obamacare health care law, follow.
Delaware Insurance Commissioner
Trinidad Navarro was elected as Delaware Insurance Commissioner. He beat incumbent Karen Weldin Stewart, who had sought a third term. Both are Democrats. Navarro became a licensed insurance agent early in his career. He went on to serve for almost 20 years as a New Castle County Police Officer. He most recently served as New Castle County Sheriff.
Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance (CSI)
Matt Rosendale, a Republican, won election as Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Auditor. He previously served in the Montana Senate, where he held the position of Senate Majority Leader in the legislature. Incumbent Monica Lindeen, a Democrat who held the position since 2008, ran for Secretary of State but lost.
North Carolina Insurance Commissioner
Republican Mike Causey beat Democratic incumbent Wayne Goodwin to become the new North Carolina Insurance Commissioner. Causey is an insurance agency owner with 25 years of industry experience.
North Dakota Insurance Commissioner
Republican Jon Godfread was elected as North Dakota Insurance Commissioner. He previously worked as the vice president of governmental affairs at the Greater North Dakota Chamber. Incumbent Commissioner Adam Hamm, who was appointed to the position in 2007 and then elected to two four-year terms in 2008 and 2012, did not seek reelection.
Washington State Insurance Commissioner
Mike Kreidler, Washington State Insurance Commissioner, was re-elected for another four-year term. He was first elected to the position in November 2000, and has been re-elected every four years since 2004. He oversees the department’s 242 employees and 400 volunteers.
Dr. Kreidler holds both a Doctor of Optometry degree and a master’s degree in public health. He spent 20 years as an optometrist working for Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. He then served in the Washington state legislature as a Representative and Senator for 16 years prior to becoming Insurance Commissioner.
President-Elect Trump vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, while a candidate. Health care reform is certain as a result of the campaign, but the actual details of what will change and when remain unknown.
Tax subsidies used to offset premiums, the employer mandate to provide insurance coverage, Medicaid expansion, and tax penalties for failure to purchase health insurance are among some of the leading Obamacare provisions that will come under scrutiny. Trump has also suggested that consumers be able to purchase health insurance across state lines as one potential way to bring down health care costs.
Insurance regulators, carriers, health care providers and other insurance industry participants will be closely watching the health care reform efforts in 2017.
Bill Hager’s Experience as an Insurance Expert
Bill Hager has extensive and substantive experience in the insurance industry.
As a regulator for eight years in five positions ((i) Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Department of Insurance, (ii) First Deputy Commissioner of Insurance, (iii) Iowa Commissioner of Insurance, (iv) Administrative Law Judge, and (v) Executive and Member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners), Mr. Hager, along with his staff, approved (or disapproved) of the language of insurance policies used by each of the 1,000 property casualty insurance companies doing business in the state of Iowa.
This regulatory action also included the approval of most all policy application forms and policy forms themselves. In addition, Mr. Hager regularly served as an Administrative Law Judge in matters relating directly to insurance policies.
Click on the link to read more about Mr. Hager’s experience as an insurance expert.
Material for this article was taken from a collection of industry sources relating to the subject.
In all of the general statements here, see the state law of the controlling jurisdiction. Every case is different and circumstances vary widely depending on the governing state law, policy provisions, and related considerations.
This blog is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice or an opinion in regard to any topic discussed. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state.