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  • NJ Commissioner Considine to Step Down; Chief of Staff Tapped for Post

    February 5, 2012 by Jeff Jeffrey

    Jeff Jeffrey

    Gov. Chris Christie said state Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Thomas Considine would be stepping down to take a job as chief operating officer of MagnaCare. Christie has appointed Considine’s chief of staff Kenneth E. Kobylowski to succeed him.

    Christie said in a Jan. 30 press conference that part of Considine’s decision was based upon the “challenges” that come with public service. “It is a challenge for them and their families to make sacrifices for their service and the expenses that go on with that service,” Christie said.

    MagnaCare is a health plan focused on self-insured health plans in New York and New Jersey.

    Christie said Considine had been an “extraordinary” member of his administration and Considine had told him early in his term as insurance commissioner that it was for a “limited time.” Christie said, “We always knew that there would be a time when he would tap me on the shoulder and say that he would have to go out and make more money. I appreciate his willingness to make that sacrifice.”

    Christie highlighted the department’s work on the state’s personal injury protection system. Last week, the department outlined changes to the proposed outline for a new PIP system in the state after fielding some 18,000 comments. The updated system was first unveiled by the department in August.

    The changes include the creation of a new hospital outpatient surgical facility fee schedule separate from the ambulatory surgical center facility fee; amendments of the ASC facility fee to eliminate an over-reimbursement for implantable devices; deletion of 117 fees from the physician’s fee schedule for spinal and neurosurgical procedures because of their infrequency and availability of coverage; deletion of references to workers’ compensation managed care organizations from the PIP protocols rule and removal of post-employment restriction on dispute relation professionals.

    Those wanting to comment on the changes will have 60 days after notice is published in the Feb. 21 edition of the New Jersey Register (Best’s News Service, Jan. 20, 2012).

    Joseph Berardo Jr., president and chief executive officer of MagnaCare told Best’s News Service in May MagnaCare has been involved in several projects in which the company designed “micro-networks” with different coverage options to meet specific employer needs. Among the aspects of the plans that the company considers when deciding the different levels of coverage options are measures to encourage plan members to use their primary care more frequently, in order to keep people out of emergency rooms; and contracts with surgery centers for outpatient surgeries (Best’s News Service, May 26, 2011).

    Considine also supported the state’s push to become a captive insurance domicile. The state has approved three captives to incorporate in the state after enacting captive legislation last year (Best’s News Service, Feb. 23, 2011).

    (By Jeff Jeffrey, Washington Correspondent: jeff.jeffrey@ambest.com)

    Copyright: 

    (c) 2012 A.M. Best Company, Inc.

    Source: 

    A.M. Best Company, Inc.

    Wordcount: 

    465

    Originally Posted at InsuranceNewsNet on January 30, 2012 by Jeff Jeffrey.

    Categories: Industry Articles
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