Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/12/1994 01:40 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 SENATOR KELLY announced  SB 313  (HEALTH INS. FOR HIGH RISK                   
 RESIDENTS) to be up for consideration.                                        
 CAROL CARROL, Staff for Senator Kerttula, said SB 313 amends his              
 high risk health insurance bill that was passed in 1992.  The                 
 amendments were requested by the High Risk Health Insurance                   
 Association that was set up at that time.  One of the requirements            
 of the insurance bill is that each member of the industry be a                
 member of the Association in order to do business in the state by             
 participating in the high risk health insurance pool.                         
 Sections 3 and 4 provide additional forms of deductibles, co-                 
 payments, and maximums.  This responds to requests by residents               
 seeking only catastrophic insurance with high deductibles.                    
 Section 5 broadens the ability of the association to offer policies           
 to groups that maintain healthy lifestyles without changing the               
 basic requirements that premium rates be based on age and                     
 geographic location.                                                          
 Section 6 further defines eligibility for the state plan.  This               
 would disqualify those residents who are eligible to be covered by            
 a plan subject to the Small Employer Health Reinsurance                       
 Sections 7 and 8 require payment of the premium with the request or           
 the application.                                                              
 Section 9 gives the Director of Insurance the ability to formulate            
 policy and adopt regulations.                                                 
 Section 10 provides a member of the Board of the Association with             
 immunity from civil or criminal liability for an act or omission in           
 good faith in the scope of the director's duties.                             
 Section 11 allows the director to accept an application for                   
 coverage in cases where 2 denials of coverage seem to be                      
 superfluous.  This would allow the director to list those                     
 disabilities that are recognized as being high risk before they               
 have to be rejected by an insurance company.                                  
 SENATOR SALO asked how many people had taken advantage of the high            
 risk insurance since the bill was passed.  MS. CARROL said there              
 were 70 people in the pool at the time.  She said that number would           
 expand, especially the catastrophic insurance.                                
 BOB NIEGRUGGE, Glennallen, supported SB 313 and said they could               
 offer a reduced rate if there was a higher deductible which would             
 make it more accessible to Alaska residents.                                  
 BRENDA EVANS, Fairbanks, said she is a diabetic and has renal                 
 failure and she has no medical insurance and is not on any                    
 government sponsored program or medicaid.                                     
 SENATOR KELLY asked Rudy Vetter, Vicki, Lahti, and Sybil Skelton,             
 teleconferencing from Fairbanks, if they supported this                       
 legislation.  They said yes they did.                                         
 SENATOR KELLY asked Bonnie Nelson, Thelma Walker, and Nina                    
 Magnuson, teleconferencing from Anchorage, it they supported SB
 313.  They said they did.                                                     
 STELLA WALKER, Division of Insurance, said as of February 1, they             
 had 71 people insured under this program.  Since then, they have              
 issued 24 new policies.                                                       
 SENATOR KELLY asked how this program is being financed.  MS. WALKER           
 replied that it is being financed through insurance premiums and              
 that state money is not going into this program.                              
 SENATOR SALO moved to pass SB 313 with individual recommendations             
 and the fiscal note.  There were no objections and it was so                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects