Governor O'Malley Appoints Elizabeth "Beth" Sammis as Acting Maryland Insurance Commissioner


ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 8, 2010) –Governor Martin O'Malley today announced the appointment of Elizabeth “Beth” Sammis as Interim Maryland Insurance Commissioner, overseeing the regulation of Maryland's $26 billion insurance industry.  Ms. Sammis has served as Deputy Commissioner for the Maryland Insurance Administration since 2007 focusing on legislative and regulatory policy, with an emphasis on health insurance.  Ms. Sammis will replace Ralph S. Tyler, who took the position of Chief Legal Counsel to the federal Food and Drug Administration. 

“Beth has been an extraordinary partner during my time as Commissioner,” said former Commissioner Ralph S. Tyler.  “She has lead the effort to bring a sharper focus to the agency's mission of protecting consumers.  Her expertise in health insurance will be a great asset to the state as the state prepares to implement federal health reform legislation.”

In her role as Deputy Commissioner, Ms. Sammis identifies regulatory gaps and recommends policy direction for health insurance matters.  Prior to her appointment as Deputy Commissioner, Ms. Sammis served as Vice President of Government Affairs for United Healthcare for the Mid-Atlantic region.  In that capacity, she identified public policy issues and recommended positions in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina and South Carolina, and spoke on behalf of the company with legislators, regulators and the media. From 2000 to 2004, Ms. Sammis served as Senior Vice-President of Corporate Communications and External Affairs at MAMSI, where she managed a department of seven public relations, marketing communication and graphic arts professionals, and identified public policy issues in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia and recommended positions to executive management.  From 1998 to 2000, she served as Vice-President of Corporate Communications at MAMSI, and from 1996 to 1998, she served as Senior Director of Medicare/Medicaid and Government Relations at MAMSI.  Ms. Sammis served as Deputy Director of Payment Systems, Benefits and Practice Parameters for the Health Care Access Cost Commission from 1993 to 1996, where she coordinated the development of a standard benefit plan for Maryland's small group market and HMO report cards. She was also a Legislative Analyst with the Department of Legislative Reference from 1985 to 1993.

Ms. Sammis obtained her Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, received her Master of Art in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), founded as the Maryland Insurance Division in 1872, is an independent State agency located in downtown Baltimore. This agency regulates Maryland's $26 billion insurance industry and makes certain that insurance companies, health plans and producers (agents and brokers) comply with Maryland insurance law. The MIA also licenses over 11,000 producers and approximately 1,500 insurance companies, regulates insurance rates, monitors insurer solvency, investigates consumer complaints and travels across the State providing consumers with educational materials on insurance.

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