COLUMBUS — Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor announced January 4 that measures designed to provide additional financial protection for Ohio consumers if their life or health insurance company becomes insolvent has become law.
Senate Bill 223 (Bacon) raises the maximum possible claim payout for disability and long-term care insurance for policyholders from $100,000 to $300,000; and basic hospital, medical and surgical insurance, major medical from $100,000 to $500,000 for claims still pending should their life or health insurance company become insolvent. The bill also adds a $250,000 maximum coverage limitation for each payee of a structured settlement annuity or the beneficiary of such an annuity. The bill unanimously passed the Ohio General Assembly.
“I am pleased that these statutory changes will ensure Ohio consumers are standing on firmer financial ground in a worst-case scenario situation,” said Taylor, also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “And I want to thank the members of the state legislature, as well as our stakeholders and partners, who recognized the importance and need for these changes and made them happen.”
Claims are paid to policyholders by the non-profit Ohio Life and Health Guaranty Association on behalf of insurance companies facing insolvency and court-ordered liquidation.
The guaranty association was established by state law to function as a financial safety net for consumers, and is funded by assessments paid by insurance companies that sell life, health and annuities products.
The bill also incorporated other standards developed by the National Organization of Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Funds. The organization has been working to amend guaranty association laws in each state to be functionally consistent to the benefit of consumers.
Ohioans who have questions about insurance can call the Ohio Department of Insurance consumer hotline at 800-686-1526. Educational insurance information is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov. You can follow the Ohio Department of Insurance on Facebook and Twitter.
Taylor was sworn in as Ohio’s 65th Lieutenant Governor on January 10, 2011, the same day Governor John R. Kasich named her to lead CSI Ohio – the “Common Sense Initiative” to reform Ohio’s regulatory policies, as well as to serve as the director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. These two assignments dovetail together and provide the perfect launching pad for working to make Ohio a jobs – and business – friendly state.