Key SHIP LTC rehab players, Altman and Cioppa, leaving posts as top insurance regulators

Feb.15, 2022 — Two key regulators involved in the rehabilitation proceeds surrounding insolvent insurer Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania are leaving their posts. 

Head SHIP rehabilitator and Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman is leaving as top regulator in the Commonwealth before leaving to become CEO of Covered California, the state’s individual health insurance marketplace. Altman’s last day will be Feb. 25, about six or more weeks before the SHIP amended rehabilitation plan, with its mix of higher premiums and reduced benefit options, is expected to go into effect, barring any legal action. 

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has ask the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s chief of staff Mike Humphreys to serve as acting commissioner for the remainder of the year, a department spokesperson said. 

Altman has been extensively involved in the Pennsylvania insurance marketplace, chairing the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority and in helping form the 2010 Affordable Care Act’s state-based marketplace.

Pennsylvania is the fifth-largest insurance market in the U.S. 

In Maine, Eric Cioppa, the insurance superintendent, former president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and one of the three states appealing the SHIP case to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, is retiring in April. Cioppa is also the current NAIC representative to the U.S. Financial Solvency Oversight Council, a Dodd-Frank-Act-created multi-agency body that grew out of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.A state  insurance regulatory replacement has not yet been named.

Cioppa has been an insurance regulator or decades and served first as a statistician for the Maine Bureau of Insurance until becoming a trusted deputy and then appointed superintendent in 2011. Cioppa has been involved in all facets of state insurance regulation over the years and helped spearhead long-term care insurance solvency and oversight initiatives at the NAIC.

Cioppa has been joined by Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Gary Anderson, along with 27 other state commissioners signing on as amici in intervening in the SHIP rehabilitation process against PID  and Altman as rehabilitator to stop  the plan in its tracks.

The intervening state insurance commissioners and their supporters argue that policyholders will be better off in a liquidation now rather naan forestalling one and that the position of rates by one state over another violates the tenets of state insurance regulation. An appeal is pending, but a stay pending appeal was recently denied by the state Supreme Court.

Of interest, three of the four current NAIC officers, President Dean Cameron Vice President Andrew Mais and Secretary-Treasurer Jon Godfread North Dakota, support the appeal of the intervening regulators plan as amici brief co-signers. Several of the amici are former NAIC presidents, Louisiana’s Jim Donelon, South Carolina’s Ray Farmer and Cioppa.  

A Pennsylvania department spokesperson has previously stated that “Commissioner Altman placed the interests of affected policyholders as the top priority in proposing the Plan. In pursuit of this goal, the rehabilitation plan: maximizes the choices available to policyholders and provides more options than a policyholder would have in a liquidation, allows policyholders to maintain their current level of benefits including when they are entitled to benefits above their state guaranty fund’s benefit cap that would be applied in a liquidation, and provides these options in a manner that is equitable across states and across policyholders.” 

The states that have okayed the plan include those with the largest number of policyholders. 

Here are NAIC’s tweets saying good-bye and thank you.

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