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Jay Angoff resigns from Department of Insurance

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Missouri Department of Insurance Director Jay Angoff Oct. 1 announced his resignation. Angoff's last day will be Oct. 31.

"It is with deep regret, but also, a great deal of pride in what you have done for my administration, that I accept your resignation," said Gov. Mel Carnahan, who appointed Angoff in 1993.

A release from the Department of Insurance said Angoff's appointment was a departure from past insurance directors, most of whom came directly from within the insurance industry. Angoff, a lawyer, had a background in consumer protection and worked for consumer activist Ralph Nader.

Workers' compensation became the first major issue during Angoff's tenure. In 1993 the Missouri legislature enacted several changes in workers' compensation law one of which gave the director the power to seek competitive bids for insuring businesses that traditionally had difficulty finding insurers that would sell to them.

"To the surprise of many, the competitive bidding process worked, workers' compensation rates dropped, profits went up and new insurers entered the market," the department release said.

Legislation that Angoff drafted in 1994 would have allowed Missourians to buy insurance regardless of health status. The proposal was passed by the House, but was not acted on by the Senate.

In September, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri agreed with the department and the attorney general to offer a settlement to the trial court in ongoing litigation. The settlement would require the insurer to use its assets to establish a health care foundation after converting to for-profit status.

Angoff made anti-trust enforcement a priority of the department under his leadership.

He is a former anti-trust attorney with the Federal Trade Commission. He placed conditions on two major HMO mergers and ordered divestiture in a third, according to the release.

He also oversaw Missouri's reaccreditation by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for five years. NAIC accreditation allows other states to accept the findings of Missouri's financial examiners so that they need not examine Missouri companies themselves.

"I am proud to have served Gov. Carnahan and the people of Missouri, and I will always cherish my time as insurance director, but I'm going to take a little time now to not work so hard in fact, I'm going to play the piano," Angoff said.

He played in The Brooklyn Bridge in the '70s and plays the piano with two local bands. He also has played occasionally at a Jefferson City piano bar.

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