State to consider nonprofit insurers' surplus

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Legislation in Washington state would allow the insurance commissioner to consider nonprofit health insurers' surpluses when deciding whether their proposed premiums are reasonable, reported LifeHealthPro. "The state's three major insurers--all of whom are nonprofit companies--have amassed more than $2.4 billion in surplus," Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said. "Yet under current law, I cannot consider a company's surplus when reviewing rates. It's like trying to ignore the elephant in the room." The bills (H.B. 1301 and S.B. 5247) are two versions of a measure that would give Kriedler the authority to consider these surpluses. However, Kriedler's office clarified that insurers' surpluses aren't the same as reserves. "Reserves are required to ensure a company can pay future claims," officials wrote in a comment on the measure. "Surplus is what's left over after accounting for all foreseeable future claims and expenses." Article