Senate moves to toughen insurance standards

Cheyenne, Wyo. – Wyoming has taken the first step to join several other states that have banned discretionary clauses in a health insurance contract.

The state Senate passed a bill that imposes a ban by a 26-4 vote. Discretionary clauses give an insurance company the power to determine whether someone is eligible for insurance benefits when a claim is filed.

It also gives that company the ability to make a determination on the terms and provisions of a policy. Senator Kathryn Sessions of Cheyenne said that this is not an example of the legislature inventing a problem. She says it comes from Wyoming citizens who are having their benefits revised when they file a claim.

Senator Eli Bebout worried that the bill will drive up insurance costs, but Senator Tony Ross said that nobody raised that issue when his committee held hearings on the bill. The measure now heads to the House of Representatives for further debate.