SALEM, Ore., April 8 (UPI) -- A bill being considered in the Oregon Legislature would remove the state exemption from insurance companies being sued for fraud, officials say.
State Sen. Chip Shields, D-Portland, said the bill would allow health insurers to be sued for fraud under the state's Unlawful Trade Practices Act -- insurance companies are the only business in Oregon currently exempt from the act and cannot be sued either by the attorney general or insurance policyholders for fraud.
Shields said he expected the bill to pass.
"I think we have the votes," Shields told The Lund Report, a website that reports on the inner workings of the healthcare industry. "If for some reason we can't get it through, it can be referred to the people."
The bill already has been passed by the Oregon House of Representatives 33-27.
"There is (currently) very little remedy to recover the claims that are due to a consumer and that they have paid for," said Rep. Paul Holvey, D-Eugene, the bill's chief sponsor in the House.