Jay Angoff, who returns to Mehri & Skalet after three years with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has devoted his career to protecting the rights of consumers and holding insurance companies accountable. The only person to have served as the lead federal health insurance regulator, the Director of an HHS Region, and a state Insurance Commissioner, he is one of the nation’s leading insurance experts.
In March 2010, Mr. Angoff was appointed by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as the first Director of the HHS Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight—the office responsible for implementing the insurance reform provisions of President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. In that capacity, Mr. Angoff was responsible for the Patient’s Bill of Rights, which enables young adults to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26; prevents insurance companies from rescinding coverage or cutting off coverage at a numerical lifetime limit; and prohibits insurers from imposing deductibles or co-payments for common preventive services. He was also responsible for implementing the new provision that requires insurers to refund money to policyholders if they spend more than 20% of premiums collected on administrative expenses and profit. This regulation, known as the Medical Loss Ratio or MLR rule, has forced insurers to return more than $1.1 billion to their policyholders in 2011 alone.
Mr. Angoff also oversaw the HHS unit implementing the Exchanges–websites coming on line in 2014 at which people will be able to obtain rate quotes and buy from multiple insurance companies selling four different levels of coverage.
In addition, Mr. Angoff served at HHS as the Senior Advisor to the Secretary and as Regional Director of HHS Region VII, headquartered in Kansas City.
Before serving at HHS Mr. Angoff was in private practice, first in Jefferson City, MO and most recently in Washington, DC with Mehri & Skalet, PLLC where he focused on obtaining refunds for individuals who were overcharged by insurance companies. Class actions in which Mr. Angoff served as a lead counsel include Landers v. Inter-insurance Exchange of the Automobile Club (Los Angeles County, Cal., $24 million settlement), Clutts v. Allstate (Madison County, Ill., $6 million settlement), and Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights v. GEICO (Los Angeles County, Cal., settlement valued at up to $12 million). He has also represented individuals before state insurance departments, and has consulted for and advised governmental entities, consumer groups, the plaintiff’s bar, and other interest groups.
Mr. Angoff is also an expert on non-profit to for-profit conversions. As Missouri Insurance Commissioner he won a five-year legal battle with Blue Cross of Missouri, after which Blue Cross agreed to fund a new healthcare foundation, now one of the nation’s largest. In private practice, Mr. Angoff has been retained by various state Insurance Departments faced with proposed Blue Cross transactions and has analyzed and opined on the reasonableness of the Blues’ executive compensation. He has also been an expert on charitable trusts, fiduciary duties, antitrust implications and other issues relevant to conversions and other insurance transactions.
Mr. Angoff has advocated for managed competition and successfully implemented systemic reforms. As Missouri Insurance Commissioner and a Director of the Missouri state health plan, Mr. Angoff required insurers to submit competitive bids for a single standardized benefit package. As a result, rates fell by up to 45%.
Prior to serving in Missouri, Mr. Angoff was Deputy Insurance Commissioner of New Jersey and Special Assistant for Health Insurance Policy to New Jersey Governor Jim Florio. In those positions, he played a major role in drafting and implementing New Jersey’s individual and small group community rating law.
In 1988 Mr. Angoff helped draft and served as a consultant to the campaign supporting California’s Proposition 103, a ballot initiative which rolled back auto insurance rates. The following year he chaired the New Jersey Citizens Auto Revolt campaign to put an initiative on the ballot cutting auto insurance costs. That proposal is still the only initiative to qualify for the ballot in all 21 New Jersey counties.
Mr. Angoff began his career as an antitrust lawyer with the Federal Trade Commission. He also served as a staff attorney for Congress Watch, a public interest lobbying organization, and as counsel to the National Insurance Consumer Organization. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He is a member of the District of Columbia, Missouri, New Jersey, and U.S. Supreme Court bars, and is a graduate of Oberlin College and Vanderbilt Law School.