OKLAHOMA CITY – The House Insurance Committee today passed a bill that will allow individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines.
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.
“In support of the president’s and the Republican’s desire to make individual health care affordable again, the Oklahoma House of Representatives’ Insurance Committee today passed Senate Bill 478,” 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 other competitive plans to meet their individual needs. The compact also will allow individuals to find better coverage in some instances, such as for autism care that is better provided for by 46 other states than in Oklahoma, he said.
“The free market works every time,” said Moore. “This bill allows individuals to find more comprehensive or catastrophic coverage if that is what is desired, and it should reduce the cost of individual coverage.”
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. He added the National Association of Insurance Commissioners said they are against the federal government mandating such compacts, but they favor each state choosing participation for itself.