Montana’s John Morrison Working for the Uninsured

March 2, 2007

The hallmarks of John Morrison’s legacy as Montana State Auditor, the Commissioner of Insurance and Securities, is to help provide more affordable coverage.

For example, the state is one of the leading captive domiciles in the West and is “bullish” on attracting more captives so groups can secure lower premiums, he said. Morrison also is working to provide affordable homeowners insurance — despite the state’s seismically active conditions and frequent forest fires. And, the state has made strides in providing more health coverage.

In an interview with Insurance Journal’s Andrea Ortega-Wells, which took place at the winter meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in San Antonio, Morrison shared why providing coverage is beneficial for the overall state.

Take, for example, health in insurance. One in five Montanans do not have health insurance, which costs all businesses and residents money; when the uninsured get sick, the illness is likely to be more severe, and others have to pick up the tab, Morrison said. Thus, he helped to create Insure Montana, which is being hailed by the NAIC as a model for other states. The program uses tax credits and pooling to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses.

“Half of the uninsured work for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees that [prior to 2005] didn’t have the resources to provide employees with insurance,” he said. The tax credits for small businesses and state chartered purchasing pools are now helping to provide coverage for 10,000 people.

The complete video interview with Commissioner Morrison is available at, in the video section of the Web site.

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