Sacramento, CA —The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) appointed Bonnie Burns, Training and Policy Specialist with California Health Advocates, for her 22nd term as one of their 20 funded consumer liaison representatives. Ms. Burns has served with the NAIC since the consumer liaison representative program began in 1992, protecting consumer rights and reforming policy at the state and federal levels.
“Ms. Burns’ contributions are too numerous to list,” said Elaine Wong Eakin, Executive Director for California Health Advocates. “She advocated for the standardization of Medicare Supplement policies so that consumers can compare them. Prior to standardization, consumers were often sold more than one policy with overlapping benefits. Ms. Burns also advocated for consumer protections in long-term care (LTC) insurance and continues to do so,” continued Wong Eakin.
Throughout the years, Ms. Burns has seen her efforts come to fruition. Many of her reform efforts have been incorporated into NAIC Model Laws and Regulations. These NAIC Models serve as a guide for and are often adopted by states, hence giving consumers in many states protections they might not have had under state law. Ms. Burns has succeeded in advocating for added protections under California state law, such as adopting additional Medigap guaranteed issue rights.
“Ms. Burns’ tireless dedication and commitment to helping others is an inspiration to us all,” said Julie Schoen, Senior Medicare Patrol Project Director with California Health Advocates. “She has provided numerous oral and written testimonies before Congress and the federal Long Term Care Commission as it deliberated on recommendations to Congress on how to finance long term care.”
For the last several years Ms. Burns has been involved at the NAIC developing strategies to prevent huge increases in LTC insurance products and providing options for consumers faced with these increases to maintain their coverage
Coming into 2014, Ms. Burns will continue to represent consumer interests associated with health-related insurance products for Medicare beneficiaries. “We greatly appreciate all Ms. Burns has done for the health, financial and emotional wellbeing of elder consumers state- and nation-wide,” declared Wong Eakin.
For more information, read Burns’ biography: http://www.cahealthadvocates.org/about-us/our-team/.
California Health Advocates is an independent non-profit organization that provides quality Medicare and related health care coverage information, education and policy advocacy. CHA presents accurate and up-to-date Medicare information for Medicare beneficiaries and their families as well as the professionals, advocates and providers who serve them, especially the 24 local HICAPs, which offer Medicare benefits counseling and community education. For more information, visit its website atcahealthadvocates.org.
Elaine Wong Eakin
Executive Director, California Health Advocates (CHA)