The current Georgia health insurance commissioner is John Oxendine. He has been the Georgia health insurance commissioner since 1994, and is currently in the middle of his fourth term. Mr. Oxendine just unsuccessfully ran in the Republican primaries for governor of Georgia. The two Republican candidates that are running for the Georgia health insurance commissioner’s office are Maria Sheffield and Ralph T. Hudgens.
One of the main platform issues in the race for Georgia health insurance commissioner has been related to the health care reform acts’ mandates to states. As Georgia health insurance commissioner, John Oxendine, joined a class action lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the health care reform acts. Also, the Georgia health insurance commissioner’s office opted out of setting up federally mandated health insurance exchanges, which resulted in the federal government overseeing this program themselves. This was allowed by the law. Georgia is not the only state that decided to handle the health insurance exchanges this way. Nineteen other states also stepped aside and let the federal government implement the required health insurance exchanges. The reason given for this is that the office of the Georgia health insurance commission did not believe that Georgia had the necessary finances in place to implement the program without putting other state run programs and Georgia residents, at financial risk.
The candidates for georgia health insurance commissioner are being asked a lot of questions about how they would handle the health care reform. Maria Sheffield who is an attorney who has worked in the state’s Department of Insurance, maintains that she will try to lessen the negative impact the federal laws might have on the state of Georgia. Ralph T. Hudgens states that the Georgia health insurance commission is an administrator and not a policy maker, and therefore has no reason to fight against federal laws. Mr. Hudgens chairs the Georgia Senate’s insurance and labor committee. Both are committed to helping Georgia’s health insurance industry maintain high standards and provide excellent products and services to Georgia residents.
Whoever wins the Republican primary will run against Democrat Mary Squires in November. Mr. Oxendine is currently being looked at closely due to some ethics complaints against him as he ran for governor. However, he has a lot of experience as Georgia health insurance commissioner, and most people agree he has made a lot of progress and improvements in the health insurance industry in Georgia. The vision statement of the Office of the Georgia Health Insurance Commissioner is to have a well trained work force, utilize technology to facilitate regulation, coordinate state regulators, provide greater access to services and more fire safety information, and result in a consumer friendly, competitive market place.
Consumers can find information about all sorts of insurance products, agents, brokers, and insurance companies, on the web site of the georgia health insurance commissioner. This is also the place where consumers can come to file a complaint, or ask questions about their rights as consumers. There is a lot of valuable information about flood and fire protection, how to file or submit claims, and rural health care information. There is information available to the public, to brokers and agents, and to agencies.