The1st meeting of the Subcommittee on Insurance of the Special Advisory Commission of Senior Citizens was held on Thursday, May 12, 2005, at 3:45 PM, at the Holiday Inn Capital Plaza. Jim Terrell, Chair, called the meeting to order, and asked panel members to introduce themselves for the roll call.
Present were: Jim Terrell, Chair, Mabel Ballinger, Mary Barlow, Ruth Bryant, Douglas Cole, Leon Dodge, Ed Flannagan, Jane Fugate, Margaret Gilland, Carolyn Horn, Denver Moore, Clarence Richardson, and John Searcy.
Guests: Chris Corbin, Deputy Executive Director, Office of Insurance.
LRC Staff: Rhonda Franklin and Marlene Rutherford.
Chairperson Terrell welcomed the newest member of the panel, Ed Flannagan, Harlan County.
John Searcy moved to approve the minutes of the November 4, 2004, meeting as submitted, Leon Dodge seconded, motion carried and the minutes approved.
Chris Corbin, Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Insurance, gave an overview of the trends in health insurance as it relates to private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid Part D and the consumer driven health care...a movement towards empowering consumers to make informed decisions in how they purchase health care services because of escalating premiums and a shift in consumer financial responsibility and the various products available in the marketplace of health savings accounts and other tax-favored health plans and the pros and cons of each. The panel was provided a handout to follow along in Mr. Corbin's presentation. Other information available to panel members was a summary of insurance legislation in the 2005 session signed by the governor, as well as a fact sheet on Medicare and Publication 969 from the IRS website relating to health savings accounts.
The Chair asked Mr. Corbin to provide the subcommittee with a copy of any proposed legislation which may be considered for its prior review.
The subcommittee convened at 8:30 AM on Friday, May 13, 2005. The subcommittee discussed the recommendations which had been submitted at the November 2004 meeting and agreed to resubmit those same recommendations to the Commission. Therefore, the following recommendations were readopted:
(1) Recommend that the General Assembly and the Department of Insurance be encouraged to continue efforts to increase the availability of health insurance to senior citizens in Kentucky at affordable and/or justifiable premiums, and require coordination between the Department of Insurance and the Attorney General regarding rate increases, and urge the General Assembly to encourage Congress to increase Medicare benefits for senior citizens.
(2) Recommend that the General Assembly address the issue of medical malpractice premium increases assuring that the life expectancy of senior citizens not be a justifiable reason to reduce injury compensation.
(3) Request the General Assembly to enact legislation:
(a) To require long-term care insurance carriers to submit rate increases to the Attorney General, as well as the Office of Insurance, to allow intervention by the Attorney General as needed.
(b) If a long-term care insurance policy is amended, or a rate increase is requested by a carrier, the requested change shall meet the same requirements as a new policy.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 AM.