2009 News Releases

For Additional Information, contact Bob Hanson - Public Information Officer: 785-296-7807 or contact him by email at commissioner@ksinsurance.org.

All news releases are in pdf format unless otherwise indicated.
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2009 News Releases

December 28

Commissioner approves sale of Preferred Health Systems to Coventry Health Care, Inc.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger has approved the sale of Preferred Health Systems Insurance Co. and Preferred Plus of Kansas to Coventry Health Care, Inc.

The order of approval was signed Dec. 24, and the insurance companies were notified.

December 21

Commissioner fines company, calls for premium refunds

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger has levied a $5,000 fine against a Kansas-licensed insurance company and has ordered premium refunds for those consumers affected by the company’s statute violations. In an order issued Dec. 8, Commissioner Praeger ordered Progressive Direct Insurance Company, based in Mayfield Village, Ohio, to pay the monetary penalty for violating statutes and regulations of the Kansas Insurance Department (KID).

December 15

Kansas auto insurance rates again among lowest in U.S.

A new report shows Kansas ranks sixth lowest in the nation for average auto insurance expenditures, according to Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance. This is the fifth consecutive year the state has been ranked as a leader in lower rates.

November 18

Insurance Commissioner Praeger promotes health insurance awareness in national radio blitz

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger stressed the need for being informed about health insurance coverage Tuesday during 18 radio interviews with stations throughout the United States.

November 9

Insurance Department to hold public forum on proposed sale of Preferred Health Systems

The Kansas Insurance Department will host a public forum Monday, Dec. 14, in Wichita on the proposed sale of Preferred Health Systems Insurance Co. and Preferred Plus of Kansas Inc., to Coventry Health Care Inc.

October 7

Kansas Insurance Department recovers record amount for consumers

The Kansas Insurance Department had a record month in September for insurance claim recoveries for consumers, Commissioner Sandy Praeger announced.

The department’s Consumer Assistance Division recovered nearly $4.5 million during the month through disputed claims from insurance companies. The total for the year now stands at $13.2 million, close to the $13.6 million recovered during all of 2008.

October 6

Commissioner urges Kansans to 'thank a firefighter'
Fire Prevention Week a good time to do so

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is urging Kansans to thank a firefighter for their efforts in keeping citizens and their property safe.

September 22

Rep. Clark Shultz confers on insurance reforms at national meeting of insurance regulators

Kansas State Representative Clark Shultz, (R-73rd District) joined dozens of other state lawmakers from across the United States in Washington, D.C., this week at a meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). He consulted with the regulators about federal and insurance industry issues affecting Kansas consumers.

September 22

Insurance Commissioner Praeger announces retirement, hiring in Producers Division

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger has announced the retirement of long-time Producers Division Director LeRoy Brungardt and the hiring of his replacement, David McKee.

August 24

Insurance Department, KDHE officials urge health insurers to provide resources, information for H1N1 vaccinations

In an effort to minimize the potential negative public health and financial impacts of the H1N1 influenza A virus, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger and Kansas State Health Officer Jason Eberhart-Phillips, M.D., issued a joint letter today to Kansas health insurers asking for assistance in education and vaccination procedures.

July 13

Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger makes Firefighters Relief Fund distribution

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is currently making the annual distribution of money to state and local firefighter relief organizations.

More than $9.2 million will be distributed among 582 local Firefighters Relief Associations (FRAs) across the state. That is an increase of more than $300,000 over the 2008 total.
List of association distributions by county

May 26

Commissioner Praeger to promote healthy choices at farmers' markets

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is planning to visit area farmers' markets during the summer months to promote healthy lifestyle choices and to stress the importance of diet and exercise as key elements in preventing disease.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," Commissioner Praeger said. "We are promoting the idea of eating healthy and shopping locally, and a farmers' market is the ideal place for that."

May 18

Op/ed: State insurance regulation necessary

If the United States intends to strengthen the financial system, we should move quickly to pass measures that add checks and balances to the regulatory process, not remove them.

Our current system of insurance regulation is under attack by large insurance organizations and members of Congress.  Proposed reforms would remove successful state regulation in favor of federal oversight.  But state regulation has, in fact, guided insurance companies through many financial solvency issues.

April 14

KID-sponsored legislation provides more protection for long-term care policyholders

Kansas consumers who purchased a long-term care policy in the last three years now have additional financial guarantees under a Kansas Insurance Department-sponsored bill that was signed into law Monday. Language in House Bill 2052 allows some long-term care policyholders to enhance policies to protect financial assets that might otherwise be used in paying for long-term care services, said Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance.

April 7

Health insurance legislation to help laid-off workers awaiting governor's signature

A Kansas Insurance Department-sponsored bill passed last week by the state Legislature would help Kansans who recently lost their jobs get health insurance assistance through the new federal stimulus legislation, according to Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance.

March 25

Misstatements cloud AIG controversy

In the face of continuing media and consumer confusion regarding American International Group Inc. (AIG) and the role of state insurance regulators, the Kansas Insurance Department urges caution and a close examination of the facts.

March 25

Insurance department legislation would help laid-off workers with new federal health benefits

A Kansas Insurance Department-sponsored bill introduced last week in the Kansas House of Representatives would help Kansans who recently lost their jobs get health insurance provisions under the new federal stimulus legislation, according to Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance.

March 16

Consumer Insurance IQ needs boost, survey says
On average, people surveyed were only able to correctly answer four out of 10 basic insurance questions

Think you know insurance? A new survey says differently.

In a recent 10-question insurance test given to 1,000 American adults, the recipients averaged only four correct answers, flunking the test with only a 40 percent score.

The test was part of a survey commissioned by the Kansas Insurance Department and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

March 2

Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger reacts to nomination of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger offered the following assessment of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as President Barack Obama's choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services: 

"Governor Sebelius is very well-qualified to assume this important position at this critical time. She has a unique understanding of health insurance from her tenure as insurance commissioner. She also knows the importance of state-based regulation and the valuable role commissioners play in protecting consumers."

January 23

Kansas Insurance Department recovers $13.6 million for state's consumers in 2008

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger’s office helped thousands of Kansas consumers settle disputes with their insurance companies in 2008, recovering more than $13.6 million in insurance claims for policyholders.

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