Pennsylvania’s New Insurance Commissioner Eyes Competitive Market

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  • In the last few years, government regulation of the insurance industry has certainly increased, and many on that side of the fence are aiming to find ways to help consumers keep their costs down as much as possible. That’s the stated goal of the latest insurance commissioner in Pennsylvania, who recently took office and came from a position within the insurance industry. When regulatory changes can be expected, it might be wise for insurance agents to tell their clients what might change about their policies, and what they can do to keep up the same level of protection they’ve always had.

    Teresa Miller, who was recently selected as the new insurance commissioner by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, comes to the position as a former partner at a major health insurer, according to a report from the Harrisburg Patriot-News. Miller claims that she’s not often happy to have to cut the occasionally sizable checks for insurance coverage that her family needs, but that she will work to make sure the system within the state is fair for all involved.

    How is Pennsylvania doing?
    Right now, Miller believes that Pennsylvania already has a competitive marketplace that is typically fair to consumers, the report said. However, she says that she wants to make sure insurers are using the latest modeling to set prices, and believes that the recent trend of price optimization being more widely used in the industry is “unfairly discriminatory” because it leads different people to pay different amounts for what is effectively the same coverage.

    “I want to promote a vibrant, competitive marketplace so consumers have quality options to choose from while making absolutely sure companies keep their promises and provide good products at fair prices,” she told the newspaper.

    Changes at the regulatory level may not always seem like something that’s going to impact an individual person’s bottom line, but the fact of the matter is that insurance agents might want to explain coming shifts as much as possible to their clients. The more people understand about their plans, the better off they’re probably going to be in terms of being able to make the best possible decisions about their coverage going forward. That, in turn, should lead to a better relationship between agent and client, which can not only boost satisfaction ratings, but also buoy retention rates.