Pa. Senate Confirms Koken as Dept. Commissioner

June 19, 2003

Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell on Wednesday commended the Pennsylvania Senate for confirming M. Diane Koken as Commissioner of the Insurance Department. The confirmation marks the third consecutive confirmation of Koken to the position since first being appointed in 1997.

“Commissioner Koken’s commitment to the consumers of Pennsylvania is evident to every age group she serves,” Governor Rendell said. “Whether it’s increasing enrollment in the CHIP program by more than 200 percent since her first term in office, helping to unveil a new program called adultBasic for uninsured adults, or making Pennsylvania the first state in the country to offer qualified health plans for all federal health care tax-credit eligible citizens, her dedication to the well-being of Pennsylvanians is unmistakable.”

“Effective consumer protection is the hallmark of state insurance regulation. That’s why each year, on average, we respond to more than 23,000 written complaints,” Koken said. “In addition, we recovered more than $10 million last year on behalf of consumers.

Earlier this year, Koken led the charge to offer assistance to Bethlehem Steel retirees with their health insurance. Pennsylvania was the first state to put together a qualified coverage program for those retirees so they could get a 65 percent discount in the form of tax credits.

Other accomplishments under Koken’s tenure include launching a statewide study of Pennsylvania’s uninsured, the first of its kind in more than a decade; recovering a cumulative $45 million for consumers in complaint handling (including claims payments, premium refunds and rating corrections); and increasing income eligibility, funding and benefits received for children eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

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