The Consumer Assistance Unit (which does not include the Consumer Advocate position) has nine staff, including the Manager. This represents a 50% increase, up from 6 staff, in 1987. Of the staff, three are employed full-time on life & health complaints, 5 work on property and casualty complaints, while the Manager works across a
Scope - Under the Patient Protection Act 1997 insurers are required to file annual reports on grievance statistics, utilization review procedures, quality assessment summaries (managed health care plans only) and scope of network summaries (managed health care plans only). The first reports were submitted for the calendar year 19
The major features of the Consumer Guide report are as follows.
Scope - the report covers consumer complaints filed against major insurers in six lines of business: automobile, homeowner, life, annuities, health and health care service contractors. Health Care Service Contractors (HCSCs) include HMOs or other types of health in
Unlike some states where health departments have a role in the quality regulation of HMOs, the Oregon Insurance Division has full jurisdiction over both traditional indemnity health plans and HMOs. The Oregon legislation uses the term "Health Care Service Contractors" for a HMO or other type of health insurance plan that contracts with doctors, ho
The organization of health insurance complaints management in Oregon is relatively straightforward, compared to most of the other states studied. The lead agency is the Department of Consumer and Business Services. Within the Department's Insurance Division, the Consumer Assistance Unit is directly responsible for consumer complaints.
The Department's Consumer Services Bureau has 107 allocated staff, 34 of whom are clerical support staff. While some specialize in health insurance, others work across multiple lines of insurance business. In addition to its 1-800 hotline, the Department maintains offices in several cities including New York City, Albany, Buffalo an
The Department of Insurance produces a wide range of consumer publications on health insurance. In addition to the New York Consumer Guide to Health Insurers described in the previous section, other significant publications include:
The complaints reports produced by the New York Department of Insurance are among the most comprehensive of any of the states included in this study. Attachments 2 & 3 provide copies of the 1999 and 1998 reports respectively, which each include data for the previous calendar year. Both the 1998 and 1999 reports are examined as t
While the Department of Health handles quality of care complaints and licensing, the Department of Insurance still has regulatory responsibility for all types of health insurance including: indemnity insurance, HMOs and POS plans). Moreover, self-insured plans are outside the Department's jurisdiction, with some of these plans contracting with PPO
The MIA has published a brochure titled "Need help with your HMO" which provides advice on the new Appeals & Grievances Law legislation and includes contact information for the MIA. The MIA website does not list any other health insurance publications.
The HEAU produces a range of brochures, guides and consumer tips includ