A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers held a meeting at the Capitol on Thursday to announce new legislation aimed at preventing insurance fraud that can cost the average Minnesota family an additional $1,000 a year in premiums.
The meeting coincides with Minnesota's 6th annual Insurance Fraud Awareness Week, which draws attention to the fraud that can cost Minnesotans hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Senator Vicki Jensen (DFL-Owatonna), Sen. Jim Metzen (DFL-South Saint Paul) and Sen. Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) were joined by Mark Kulda, vice president of public affairs for the Insurance Federation of Minnesota, Ramsey County attorney John Choi and Minnesota law enforcement personnel to lay out five main goals:
1. Increase fraud penalties
2. Allow law enforcement to more efficiently share data and records with each other
3. Protect privacy of records of accident victims
4. Eliminate billing practices that can mask fraud
5. Impose new restrictions on use of repackaged drugs
"Moving forward, the Commerce Committee will establish a permanent sub-committee dedicated to insurance fraud prevention as we continue to build on the work that has been started by this group," Commerce Committee chair Sen. Jim Metzen said. "We have learned that insurance fraud costs the average Minnesota family approximately $1,000 annually. If we are successful in our efforts to fight and prevent fraud, those costs should be reflected in reduced premiums for Minnesotans."