Insurance Commissioner Sullivan Resigns

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HARTFORD — Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Thomas R. Sullivan will resign November 12 to take a yet-unspecified position at the accounting, tax and advisory-services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"I fully believe the Connecticut Insurance Department is better equipped to respond to our constituents today than when your current term began," wrote Sullivan in a letter to Gov. M. Jodi Rell dated November 1.

 

Sullivan had come under fire recently by a number of groups who asked Rell to dismiss the commissioner for failing to respond adequately to consumer issues and for approving high increases to premiums, including as much as 47 percent for some plans offered by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut.

 

A coalition of labor unions, and community, faith-based and citizen action groups calling itself Citizens for Economic Opportunity sent a letter to Rell asking her to remove Sullivan from office.

 

Sullivan defended himself and the state’s Department of Insurance from attacks last month after the department approved rate increases in September that insurers attributed to federal health reform. Sullivan had said that reform mandated insurers to provide richer benefits and insurers were simply passing along the cost of those benefits to consumers. However, consumer advocates say federal reform was estimated to drive up premiums by only one to two percent, citing federal government estimates.

 

All state commissioner positions are subject to change when a new governor is sworn into office, which next will take place on January 1, as Rell did not run for re-election in 2010.

 
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