Commissioner of Insurance

The Commissioner of Insurance educates North Carolinians about insurance options and insurance scams. They make sure insurance rates don’t get too high. The Commissioner of Insurance protects public safety by improving building codes and making sure fire departments are ready to respond to disasters.

There are 2 candidates for the office of North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance in 2020.

Mike Causey (R)
Wayne Goodwin (D)

 

All answers are provided in text and audio files for each candidate. To navigate through the questions you may either scroll through this page to read or listen to their answers, or use the links below to jump directly to specific questions.

The primary candidates for the office of Commissioner of Insurance were each asked the following questions.

The complete audio of all responses for the Commissioner of Insurance race:

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Question 1: What are your top three priorities?

Mike Causey (R)

If I am re-elected, we will continue to crack down on fraud and corruption. I will continue efforts to improve our state’s fire services – helping to reduce the cost of insurance for homeowners and property owners across North Carolina. We will continue to cut red tape and make the Department of Insurance accessible and citizen-friendly and service oriented.

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Wayne Goodwin (D)

(1) Access to affordable health insurance (including Medicaid expansion) and, unlike my opponent, fighting to preserve coverage for pre-existing health conditions and supporting improvements to the Affordable Care Act;
(2) Lowest, fairest auto & homeowners insurance rates possible (based on actuarial science, math, public policy);
(3) Presumptive occupational cancer coverage for firefighters, now that cancer is the dominant killer of firefighters & NC is the last State to address this concern. (Note: Insurance Commissioner is also the State Fire Marshal.)

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Question 2: What will you do to improve access to medical care in rural and low-income communities?

Mike Causey (R)

The bi-partisan plan in place right now to transition Medicaid to a managed-care program will improve patient access, quality of care and positive outcomes. During the past four years, I have worked to expand access to health care insurance – bringing into our state new health insurance companies to increase competition and provide our consumers more choices in the health insurance marketplace. We must do more to strengthen our rural healthcare delivery system and that will be a goal during the next term.

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Wayne Goodwin (D)

First, I will fight for Medicaid expansion, as I did during my 2 terms as NC Insurance Commissioner. (I'm the only candidate for Insurance Commissioner advocating for Medicaid expansion.) Expansion would provide coverage for 600,000 citizens, many of which are in rural and low-income communities; it would help keep private insurance premiums stable. Further, as Commissioner I'd more aggressively enforce the laws and regulations regarding Network adequacy so health insurance plans ensure availability of and accessibility to medical care closer to those communities.

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Question 3: What role could you play in increasing access to healthcare through Medicaid and/or health insurance?

Mike Causey (R)

It is the role of the State Legislature to make policy decisions regarding Medicaid services in North Carolina. My role as Commissioner of Insurance is to regulate the insurance industry and hold the insurance companies accountable and to work as an advocate for our state’s consumers.

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Wayne Goodwin (D)

As Insurance Commissioner my advocacy for Medicaid expansion would address two core duties of the office: Helping ensure accessibility to health insurance and tamping down private insurance premiums that would rise if uncompensated care continues at the current rate. As Commissioner I would seek statutory changes to attract more health insurance options to NC. As a member of the Council of State, my fierce advocacy both for expansion and more private coverage options would have a persuasive impact on the Legislative Branch and the public.

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Question 4: What will you do to promote employment of people with disabilities on your staff, in your agency, and through the funds you manage?

Mike Causey (R)

I believe it is critically important to ensure that our department reflects the people of North Carolina. I believe in making sure that people with disabilities have easy access to the department and that people with disabilities are hired in our departments to bring their experience and expertise for the citizens of North Carolina.

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Wayne Goodwin (D)

As during my two prior terms as NC Insurance Commissioner, I'd require (subject to the EEO law, et al.) my agency to actively recruit and hire the best, most diverse staff, including persons with disabilities. Further, I'd actively encourage the agency's Controller and other agency managers to consider proposed contracts and vendors with more minority-owned businesses, including businesses owned and/or operated by people with disabilities. Additionally, I would actively encourage persons with disabilities to apply for positions within the Department of Insurance.

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Question 5: What will you do to improve compliance with accessibility-related building code provisions through the Department of Insurance/Office of State Fire Marshal?

Mike Causey (R)

It is my sworn duty to uphold the rule of law and will work with local and county authorities to ensure the compliance with the American Disabilities Act and all other statutes that improve access and the daily lives of those living with disabilities.

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Wayne Goodwin (D)

As during my time as both Insurance Commissioner and Assistant Insurance Commissioner, I will (1) ask NCDOI/OSFM engineers and internal/external ADA experts to inform me of the current status of accessibility-related building code provisions in North Carolina, (2) solicit suggested building code updates that are accessibility-friendly, and (3) ask for regular compliance updates from local and state code inspectors and enforcement officers. (4) I also envision a combination of carrot and stick: recognizing stellar compliance records and making examples of recurrent, poor compliance.

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