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Why Not Regulate HMOs as Insurers?

November 27, 1994

Thank you for revealing what must be a closely guarded secret: that HMOs are regulated by the California Department of Corporations. It is unfortunate this information was in the Business section ("State Fines HMO $500,000 in Case of Girl With Cancer," Nov. 18) where it might be missed by many readers. Who other than businessmen know of the existence of this body? Why does it, rather than the insurance commissioner, regulate HMOs?

At a time when people expect insurance problems to be handled by the insurance commissioner, health problems to be handled by the health department and crime problems to be handled by the police department, why doesn't anyone expect HMO irregularities to be handled by the California Department of Corporations? Perhaps because no reasonable person would expect a bureau they never heard of and can't locate to be of help.

RON ALBERTSEN

La Crescenta

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