In 2004, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed legislation establishing the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC). Prior to 2004, the Department of Business Regulation (DBR) was responsible for oversight of all types of coverage, including health, life, and automobile insurances. The DBR now provides infrastructure and expert staff to the OHIC.
The OHIC is the first state agency dedicated solely to health insurance oversight. Moreover, the Rhode Island legislature expanded the traditional role for insurance regulation beyond consumer protections and insurer solvency. Such a role, laid out in the OHIC Purposes Statute must balance traditional regulation with policy development.
In its full statutory form, the OHIC Purposes Statute states, "the Commissioner shall discharge the powers and duties of the OHIC to:
- Guard the solvency of health insurers;
- Protect the interests of consumers;
- Encourage policies and developments that improve the quality and efficiency of health care service delivery and outcomes; and
- View the health care system as a comprehensive entity and encourage and direct insurers towards policies that advance the welfare of the public through overall efficiency, improved health care quality, and appropriate access.
In everyday use this can be condensed as "ensuring solvency, protecting consumers, engaging providers and improving the system".
Marie L. Ganim, PhD
Health Insurance Commissioner
Principal Policy Associate
Health Reform Specialist
Principal Policy Associate
Special Projects Coordinator
Principal Planning & Program Specialist
FROM THE EAST: Follow interstate 95 north or south to route 37 west. Take the Pontiac Ave exit. Bear left at the bottom of the exit onto Pontiac Avenue, heading south. Turn right at the third traffic signal onto Howard Avenue and into the Pastore Complex. Turn right at the first stop sign at West Road. The Department of Business Regulation is in the large stone buildings on the right, behind the yellow Maintenance Building The left side of the parking lot is close to the entrance.
FROM THE WEST: Follow interstate 295 north or south to route 37 east. Take the Oaklawn Avenue exit (route 2 south). At the first traffic signal, turn left into the complex onto Howard Avenue. At the first stop sign, turn left onto West Road. OHIC Offices are at the Dept of Business Regulation. It is in the large stone buildings on the right, behind the yellow Maintenance Building. The left side of the parking lot is close to the entrance.
USING RIPTA: Visit www.RIPTA.com to access their easy-to-use Trip Planner tool, located on their homepage. The Trip Planner will help you find the best RIPTA bus route to get to the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner. Simply type in your starting address in the From tab, then type 1511 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston in the To tab. Select the date and time you plan on traveling from the drop down menus and then click Get Directions. The Trip Planner will tell you how to get here using RIPTA. Please plan to arrive at your stop at least 5 minutes early. Service may be affected by traffic, construction, accidents or weather conditions. Questions? Contact RIPTA's Customer Service Department at 401-781-9400 or CustomerRelations@ RIPTA.com. The Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner is served by Routes 21 and 22.
FROM THE PARKING LOT: Use the entrance to the Department of Business Regulation between Building 68 and Building 69.
HEALTH INSURANCE ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING If you are attending the HIAC meeting you must enter at the Department of Labor and Training entrance, building 73-1.