Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger
Commissioner Sandy Praeger was elected as Kansas' 24th Commissioner of Insurance on Nov. 2, 2002. She was reelected on Nov. 7, 2006, and again on Nov. 2, 2010. Commissioner Praeger is responsible for regulating all insurance sold in Kansas and overseeing approximately 1,600 insurance companies and more than 108,000 agents licensed to do business in the state.
She was elected previously to the Kansas Senate in 1992, 1996 and 2000, and before that served one term in the Kansas House of Representatives. While in the legislature, she worked to gain passage of patient protection laws, external review of health plans and insurance, and the Kansas expansion of children's health insurance. In 2001 she led the successful campaign for mental health parity in Kansas. A resident of Lawrence, Kan., she served as mayor of Lawrence from 1986-87, and she served on the Lawrence City Commission from 1985-89.
Commissioner Praeger was president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in 2008. She serves as chair of the NAIC Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee, as well as other NAIC committees and task forces. In 2012 she was appointed as an NAIC representative on the board of directors of the National Insurance Producer Registry.
Commissioner Praeger has testified numerous times before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on health reform issues. She is frequently called upon by national media to discuss health insurance issues.
She has also testified before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee about small business health insurance, appeared before the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee to express concerns about association health plans, and appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Aging concerning qualifications of investment advisers.
She is a two-time (2010 and 1999) recipient of the prestigious Dr. Nathan B. Davis Award, bestowed annually by the American Medical Association to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the public health through elected and career government service.
In 2013, Commissioner Praeger received the Distinguished Health Care Advocate Award from the Kansas Hospital Association, and the State Impact Award from the Kansas Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. During her time in the Kansas Legislature, AARP and the Kansas Wildlife Federation recognized Commissioner Praeger as their “legislator of the year” for her work on issues important to their organizations.
In 1997, The Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved recognized her leadership on health care access issues. She was also recognized by The Center for Populations Options for legislation she sponsored in 1994 to create teen pregnancy prevention programs in Kansas.
Her community involvement includes the United Way of Douglas County Board of Directors, and she is a founding member of three local boards: Health Care Access (a clinic for the medically indigent), the Haskell Indian Nations University Foundation and C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocates), an organization dedicated to helping children who come under the jurisdiction of the court.
Commissioner Praeger is a graduate of the University of Kansas. She lives in Lawrence with her husband, Dr. Mark Praeger, where she is active in several community organizations. They have two children: Gretchen (son-in-law Erik and granddaughter Clara Lee) and J.D. (daughter-in-law Sevrin, grandson Jakson and granddaughter Ava Margaret).