Poolman: Insurers Should Provide Special Consideration to Reservists and National Guard Members
Posted on 4/4/2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jim Poolman
April 4, 2003
Bismarck, ND - Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman today asked insurance companies doing business in North Dakota to take all steps within their power to minimize any insurance difficulties Reservists, National Guard members, and their families may encounter as a result of their deployment.
"As these troops face dangerous situations abroad, they are also concerned for their families they leave behind," Poolman said in a memorandum to companies, issued today. "Our service people deserve to know that the insurance community accommodates the special needs of Reserve and Guard families."
Poolman requested insurance companies take steps to serve the unique needs of Reservists, National Guard members and their families, including:
To develop a plan to assist military personnel and dependants with the unique problems related to deployment;
To designate a consumer services specialist who is specially trained to handle issues relating to the activation of Reservist and Guard members. For health insurers, such individuals should be conversant in federal laws pertaining to health insurance and employee benefits for individuals called to duty, such as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) and the Soldier's and Sailor's Civil Relief Act (SSCRA);
To encourage and assist employers who elect to continue health insurance coverage for deployed employees and their families.
Considering the special hardships that exist for deployed individuals and their families, which interfere with their handling of personal affairs, Poolman suggested companies consider granting them leniency or additional grace periods for late premium payments.
"We would hope these steps could help ease some of the burdens faced by Reservists, Guard members and their families at this critical time," Poolman said. "It is appropriate that we honor our troops with assistance, in light of the sacrifices that they are making on our behalf."