Private Health Insurance:

Wide Variation in State Insurance Departments' Regulatory Authority, Oversight and Resources

T-HRD-93-25: Published: May 27, 1993. Publicly Released: May 27, 1993.

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GAO discussed: (1) how state insurance departments regulate health insurance; (2) the resources they commit to these efforts; and (3) the implications that health care reform could have on state insurance departments' roles and responsibilities. GAO noted that: (1) state insurance departments' authority in regulating health insurance is limited and varies among states; (2) 24 percent of health care is paid for by private health insurance that is regulated by state insurance departments; (3) the state insurance departments' role in regulating health insurance is affected by the states' legal framework and business regulation philosophy; (4) the states used varied practices and procedures to approve premium rates and policy forms; and (5) the resources state legislatures allocate and the proportion the department dedicates to regulating health insurance varies among states.

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