Delaware Intends To Make Health Insurance More Affordable

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Insurance Commissioner Matt Denn's legislative agenda for 2008 again includes measures to make health insurance coverage more available and affordable for Delawareans - measures that have been blocked for three years by the insurance industry.

Regulating medical discount plans, a new way of targeting children for state health coverage protecting homeowners from having their policies cancelled and looking out for firefighters and doctors are among the other measures for the year.

"I am hoping that these reforms to our health insurance system - reforms that will make it easier and cheaper for people to get health insurance - will finally be passed this year. There's no issue people talk to me about more than health insurance, and I know that's true for many legislators as well," Commissioner Denn said. "Sometimes it takes a few years to overcome the special interests in Legislative Hall and pass innovative bills like these. But if Delawareans continue to call their representatives and demand that something be done about the high cost of health insurance, I think we can get it done."

Commissioner Denn's agenda for the year includes:

Creating Access to Affordable Health Care

* Senate Bill 6, creating a statewide health insurance purchasing pool

* Senate Bill 37, allowing the Department of Insurance to regulate health insurance rates

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* Senate Bill 58, allowing Insurance Department to regulate medical discount plans

* House Bill 267, allowing disabled Delawareans to purchase Medicare Supplement health insurance

* House Bill 286, using free and reduced price school lunch information to target families whose kids might be eligible for health coverage under the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Protecting Homeowners

* Senate Bill 191, barring insurance companies from canceling homeowners policies because of reasonable claims

Supporting Firefighters and Veterans

* Legislation barring auto insurance companies from canceling the policies of volunteer fire company members simply because they are volunteers.

* Legislation allowing retired doctors to work for the Veterans Administration hospital in Elsmere, where there are currently no orthopedic surgeons, without losing medical malpractice insurance coverage

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