Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/03/1996 03:28 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HB 544 - HEALTH INSURANCE NOMENCLATURE                                      
 Number 590                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the committee would hear HB 544, "An Act              
 relating to the use of the terms `health' and `disability' in the             
 context of insurance coverage," sponsored by the committee by                 
 request.  He said it makes some changes from a housekeeping                   
 perspective where we have used disability and have confused that              
 with health insurance.  It seems like we're conforming to make                
 disability an integral part of health insurance.  We're basically             
 changing some various parts of the insurance statutes.                        
 MARIANNE BURKE, Director, Division of Insurance, Department of                
 Commerce and Economic Development, came forward to testify on HB
 544.  She said this is a housekeeping bill where they are changing            
 the word "disability," which is an archaic term that went on the              
 books many years ago.  Since that time, disability, income                    
 protection insurance and other types of disability coverage have              
 come into being and it creates a great deal of confusion.  Ms.                
 Burke explained she has been approached by legislators saying, "Why           
 is this bill addressing disability."  She was also questioned why             
 the word "disability" was used in the domestic violence bill.  It             
 is because it conforms with the Alaska statute's usage of that                
 term.  She said "disability" is being changed to "health."  This              
 will bring us into agreement with the usage of the term throughout            
 the industry throughout the United States.   We would be catching             
 up with the rest of the country.  Ms. Burke said it is user                   
 Number 692                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG indicated he applauds the bill.                       
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA noted it looks like the title is so tight               
 that you can't do anything else but deal with those two words.                
 Number 742                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to move HB 544 out of                   
 committee with individual recommendations and the attached zero               
 fiscal note.                                                                  
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection.  Hearing none HB 544           
 was moved out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee.                      

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