Communications & Public Affairs
April 27, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Lewis Moore
Phone: (405) 557-7400
Bill Allowing Sale of Insurance across State Lines Passes House
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives today unanimously passed a bill that will allow individuals to purchase health insurance from any state participating in a yet-to-be-determined compact. The bill passed by a vote of 80-0.
Senate Bill 478, by state Rep. Lewis Moore and Bill Brown of the Senate, will allow the Oklahoma Insurance Department to compact with other states in offering more affordable and better tailored individual health insurance policies across state lines. The plans would still have to be approved by each participating state legislature, but would require all compacted states to offer coverage that minimally matches mandated coverage required in Oklahoma.
“This bill will make individual insurance more affordable and will increase coverage options for Oklahomans,” said Moore, R-Arcadia.
He said the bill will allow individuals to keep their current Oklahoma plans if they wish, or they can shop for more affordable plans or ones better tailored to meet their individual needs. The compact also will allow individuals to find better coverage in some instances, such as for autism care. Thirty-two other states offer coverage with more mandates to include more comprehensive coverage for those with autism, Moore said.
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak recently issued a statement in favor of the bill saying the measure will not circumvent Oklahoma coverage mandates, and in some cases could result in better coverages than now offered.
Moore said this bill puts in place the mechanism for the insurance department to move forward on negotiating plans and forming a compact. The bill has protections for Oklahoma companies as they compete to match policies offered by other states.
The bill now goes to conference committee before returning to the Senate for final passage.
“Many groups combined to take ownership of SB478 and make it better,” Rep. Moore said.