Insurance Commissioner | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Insurance Commissioner

North Dakota’s Insurance Department has fined Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota $125,000 after a 16-month “market conduct exam” found it had improperly denied certain claims and failed to report some insurance fraud.

Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread said the focus was on mental health and substance abuse claims. He said a lot of the problems came in disagreements over the level of treatment.

"Your doctor says, 'You need 10 days of in-patient treatment,' and Blue Cross may come back and say, 'No, you need three," Godfread said.

Around this time in 1945 things were heating up for North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Oscar Erickson. The state House had adopted a resolution for articles of impeachment for Erickson, and his Senate trial was scheduled for May.

Erickson was an early member of the Nonpartisan League. He served six terms in the Legislature, first as a representative, then as senator. Erickson also chaired the North Dakota Republican Party for four years when Wild Bill Langer was governor. It was in 1936 that Erickson was elected as state insurance commissioner.

North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread said Congressional inaction on the Affordable Care Act is putting states like North Dakota in a difficult position.

Godfread said it appears Congress has put any “repeal and replace” efforts on Obamacare on the “back burner” – and he doubts anything will happen before the November election.

"That leaves it to the states to come up with some creative solutions on how we address our health care market," Godfread said.

Godfread said there are major challenges in health insurance.

North Dakota’s Insurance Department has begun a market conduct examination of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of North Dakota.

"I use the term loosely -- kinda looking under the hood, a little bit," said state Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread.

Godfread says if you look across the country, most major insurance companies get examined every three to five years.

"This isn't anything out of the ordinary," Godfread said. "It's one of my duties as Insurance Commissioner to ensure that our consumers are getting the services they're being promised."

North Dakota’s Insurance Commissioner says cyber security has become a very big issue in the insurance industry.

And Adam Hamm says the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has been spending a lot of time on it.

An executive with the Greater North Dakota Chamber is seeking the GOP nomination for Insurance Commissioner.

Jon Godfread is the GNDC’s vice-president for governmental affairs. He is running to replace Adam Hamm, who announced he was not seeking another term.