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Maryland Insurance Commissioner

NEWS
By Andrew A. Green and Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF | March 12, 2004
The questionable use of price guides by insurance adjusters after Tropical Storm Isabel may be to blame for many of the low settlement offers reported by homeowners seeking to repair damaged houses from Maryland to North Carolina, insurance and construction experts say. The pricing structure in computer software that some adjusters used after the September storm relies on estimates for new construction. But documents and interviews with policy holders show that the software was used after Isabel to work up settlement offers for repair or restoration jobs -- work that is generally more expensive.
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NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,Sun reporter | February 1, 2008
Pamela Morris thought she got a good deal on car insurance when she obtained private coverage three days after renewing a policy with Maryland's insurer of last resort. But those few days cost her. Like most motorists insured by the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund, Morris went through a specialized finance company several years ago for a loan to pay the entire annual premium of $2,100 upfront to the state agency, as required by law. When she canceled the coverage, the finance company charged her $140 in interest and $35 in fees.
NEWS
By Patricia Meisol and Patricia Meisol,Staff Writer | July 8, 1992
A U.S. Senate subcommittee ordered Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland yesterday to turn over nearly 10 years of data about its finances as part of a growing probe into some of the nation's largest and best-known health insurance plans.In a far-reaching subpoena to the Maryland Blues, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations asked for the financial records of 21 separate companies created by the insurer in the past decade, some of them without the state's knowledge.Further, the panel is demanding what could be hundreds of boxes of documents regarding Blue Cross' cash flow, contracts, taxes, board meetings, loans, investments, actuarial data, claims files, correspondence with consumers and its entire payroll for the period.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock | January 23, 2005
CAREFIRST BlueCross BlueShield, Maryland's biggest health insurer, says its plan to shrink potential revenue by $60 million and book a smaller profit for 2005 is part of its new, enlightened mission as a nonprofit do-gooder. I don't buy the reason. The rest of the industry is doing the same thing - restraining price and revenue increases to gain new customers. Playing copycat makes business sense for CareFirst or any insurer. And business sense continues to be the main motivator for this organization - bigger, fuzzier "nonprofit" label or not. As it should.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | May 28, 2004
Open enrollment. All pre-existing conditions accepted. No co-payments or deductibles. Sounds like a good deal on health insurance. Except it may not be health insurance. And it may not be a good deal. Maryland Insurance Commissioner Alfred W. Redmer Jr. conducted an informational hearing yesterday into the proliferation of medical and pharmacy discount cards. During the past decade, a number of insurers, pharmaceutical companies and others have offered legitimate programs to provide discounts on prescriptions, dentistry, eyeglasses and other health services.
NEWS
By Rona Kobell and Andrew A. Green and Rona Kobell and Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF | March 21, 2004
Six months after Tropical Storm Isabel surged through Maryland, the sounds of rebuilding fill the streets from Bowleys Quarters to Shady Side. Jackhammers pound and buzz saws whir, while residents wonder how close the reconstruction will bring them to recovery. Though Maryland's most destructive storm in recent memory ended for many residents when the lights flicked back on and the yard dried out, Isabel's legacy endures, particularly in Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Dorchester counties.
NEWS
By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF | April 15, 2005
WASHINGTON - With about 40 Maryland victims of Tropical Storm Isabel applauding and some wiping away tears, members of Congress yesterday grilled federal officials about claims of "rip-offs" and "fraud" in the government's flood insurance program. "I am sick and tired of consumers being exploited," Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, told an insurance industry representative during a congressional hearing on flood insurance. "If Congress does not move very aggressively to better protect consumers, none of us should be sent back to Congress."
BUSINESS
By Dan Thanh Dang and Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF | June 6, 2003
Insurance regulators in Delaware and Washington threatened yesterday to oppose any agreement to settle a legal dispute over the status of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield unless their interests are considered. The state of Maryland, CareFirst and the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association are in talks aimed at preserving the insurer's license to provide national health coverage for 3.2 million subscribers. The Blue Cross trade group moved to dump CareFirst from its system May 22 when Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. signed a bill to reform the company.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 22, 2001
WASHINGTON - Maryland's top insurance regulator fears that federal legislation designed to protect HMO patients from being denied necessary medical care could eliminate rights most Marylanders already have under state law. Maryland Insurance Commissioner Steven B. Larsen said in an interview that legislation being debated by the U.S. Senate could benefit state residents by granting them new rights to sue managed care companies for economic and punitive damages...
BUSINESS
By Andrew Ratner and Andrew Ratner,SUN STAFF | March 6, 2003
How to return CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to its original mission of ensuring quality health care for all? With Maryland Insurance Commissioner Steven B. Larsen's resounding rejection yesterday of the proposed conversion and sale of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, lawmakers, consumer advocates and industry analysts have opinions on how the company might reclaim its nonprofit objective - or be prodded to do so. Among the ideas floated: Require excess...
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