Senate Committee Tables Bill on Insurance Benefits

Article excerpt

A bill whichwould require a succeeding insurance carrier to provide the same benefits to a policy holder for the same insurance policy the holder had with a previous carrier was tabled in the Senate Business and Labor Committee Monday.

Senate Bill 173, authored by Sen. Butch Hooper, D-Lawton, apparently was unclear to several committee members.

Hooper explained the bill was designed to protect policy holders when they changed their health and life insurance policies from one carrier to another.

"Any person covered under the prior plan on its date of discontinuance who is eligible for coverage in accordance with the succeeding plan of benefits, in respect of classes eligible and actively at work and nonconfinement rules and who elects such coverage shall be covered under the succeeding plan on its effective date," the bill states.

Sen. Olin Branstetter, R-Ponca City, said he felt the Oklahoma Insurance Commission already has provisions which regulate insurance policies moved from one carrier to another. However, Hooper said, those provisions are outdated and don't apply to today's insurance business.

Sen. Howard Hendrick, R-Bethany, said he felt the legislation would lead to lawsuits between beneficiaries and the succeeding insurers. …