Salem, OR – Lou Savage, Oregon’s interim insurance commissioner for the past seven months, has been appointed to the position permanently. He replaces Teresa Miller, who left in November 2011 to accept a position with the federal government.
“After an extensive search, ultimately, I was impressed with Lou’s leadership in implementing federal health care reform, in performing rigorous and public reviews of health insurance rate requests, and in tackling a myriad of other insurance issues on behalf of consumers,” Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) Director Patrick Allen said.
Savage initially planned to return to his former DCBS position as the agency’s senior policy advisor.“Health insurance regulation is undergoing significant changes, and I am now deeply involved in helping shape the health care plans that will be available to Oregon consumers in 2014, as well as other complex reform issues we must tackle under tight deadlines,” Savage said. “I am passionate about seeing these changes through for Oregonians.”
Savage directed DCBS legislative activities before being tapped to serve as interim insurance commissioner. The Insurance Division, with approximately 100 employees and a $10.5 million annual budget, licenses insurance companies and agents, reviews policies for consumer protections, investigates potential violations of insurance law, and approves rates on health insurance policies held by about 12 percent of all Oregonians. It is part of DCBS, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency.
An attorney, Savage has represented both consumers and businesses on insurance related issues in the nonprofit and private sectors. He worked for Multnomah County Legal Aid Services for more than 16 years, including eight years as executive director. He was also state director of Congressman (now Senator) Ron Wyden’s state congressional office. He came to DCBS from private practice in 2003 and served as senior policy advisor for more than eight years.
Source: OR DCBS