Montana – John Morrison

February 11, 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 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.

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 explained. 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.

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