Insurance News

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February 23, 2011

Missouri DIFP employee voted State Employee of the Month

Six-year veteran assists consumers with health insurance complaints

Comstock receives awardJefferson City, Mo.  - An employee of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) has been named Missouri's State Employee of the Month for January 2011. Suzie Comstock, a Tipton resident and health insurance specialist at the department, was recognized by Gov. Nixon and given a proclamation in a ceremony Wednesday in his office.

Comstock, a six-year veteran of the department's Consumer Affairs Division, handles inquires and complaints from consumers about life and health insurance. She was selected by the State Employee of the Month Committee, which consists of employees from five state agencies.

In addition to complaints, she and her colleagues provide technical assistance to consumers daily, which includes helping them understand their health insurance policies, informing them of their rights under Missouri law, verifying their agents are licensed and many other topics.

The demand for these services from Missouri consumers continues to grow: the number of consumers contacting the department on life and health insurance has doubled in the past eight months.

DIFP had previously honored Comstock as its Employee of the Quarter for the fourth quarter of 2010. In his announcement of the award, DIFP Director John M. Huff called Comstock a leader who goes above and beyond for Missouri consumers on a daily basis.

"In today's health insurance world, employees like Suzie are invaluable to our department and Missouri consumers," said Huff. "Health insurance can be complicated and expensive, and consumers have more questions than ever before about their coverage."

 "Our goal is to see that consumers get the benefits they've paid for in their insurance policies," said Comstock. "It's a great honor to me and my co-workers that state leaders have chosen someone in my position for this award."

Some of the department's more memorable cases in the past year include:

The insurance Consumer Affairs Division returned nearly $10 million to consumers who filed complaints in 2010. The division fielded more than 4,200 formal complaints and assisted another 20,000 consumers over the phone.

Consumers with questions or complaints about insurance can file complaints online at insurance.mo.gov or by calling the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390.

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

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