Senators announce bipartisan legislative efforts on Insurance Fraud
Senator Vicki Jensen (DFL-Owatonna), Senator Jim Metzen (DFL-South Saint Paul) and Senator Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) announced a comprehensive package of reforms that will start to address insurance fraud. The Senators were joined by Mark Kulda, Vice President of Public Affairs, for the Insurance Federation of Minnesota, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and Minnesota law enforcement personnel.
“We’re excited to have concrete proposals ready after an interim of hard, bipartisan work,” said Sen. Jensen. “This is just the beginning, but I fully believe we will be able to pass meaningful legislation this session that will help bring relief to Minnesotans. I’m looking forward to continuing our work on curbing fraud.”
The proposed reforms will enhance fraud penalties, increase the ability for insurers and law enforcement to share key data, protect the privacy of the records of accident victims, eliminate unscrupulous billing practices that help hide fraud being committed and impose new restrictions on the use of repackaged drugs.
“These smart reforms have come after months of meetings and efforts from the working group participants,” said Commerce Committee Chair Sen. Jim Metzen. “Moving forward, the Commerce Committee will establish a permanent sub-committee dedicated to insurance fraud prevention as we continue to build on the work that has been started by this group. We have learned that insurance fraud costs the average Minnesota family approximately $1000 annually. If we are successful in our efforts to fight and prevent fraud, those costs should be reflected in reduced premiums for Minnesotans.”
The legislation is the result of a bipartisan working group that met multiple times throughout the interim. Co-chaired by Sen. Jensen and Sen. Gazelka, the working group heard testimony from a number of stakeholders that provided information on insurance fraud’s effects and possible changes to state law.
“Insurance fraud is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it is a Minnesota issue and we’ve been working diligently in a bipartisan way to correct fraud issues,” said Sen. Gazelka. “These corrections will in turn help lower the cost of insurance for all Minnesotans. I’d like to thank Senator Metzen for appointing me as a co-chair of the Insurance Fraud Working Group. We expect the results will benefit all Minnesotans and I look forward to working together this session as we implement the reforms agreed upon by all parties over the past several months.”