Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cookson v. Ramge

Supreme Court of Nebraska

February 23, 2018

Amanda E. Cookson et al., appellants.
v.
Bruce R. Ramge, director. Nebraska Department of Insurance, appellee.

         1. Summary Judgment. Summary judgment is proper when the pleadings and evidence admitted at the hearing disclose that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact or as to the ultimate inferences that may be drawn from those facts and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

         2. Declaratory Judgments: Statutes: Appeal and Error. When a declaratory judgment action presents a question of law, such as statutory interpretation, an appellate court has an obligation to reach its conclusion independently of the conclusion reached by the trial court with regard to that question.

         3. Statutes: Legislature: Intent. In discerning the meaning of a statute, a court must determine and give effect to the purpose and intent of the Legislature as ascertained from the entire language of the statute considered in its plain, ordinary, and popular sense, as it is the court's duty to discover, if possible, the Legislature's intent from the language of the statute itself.

         4::. In order for a court to inquire into a statute's legisla- tive history, the statute in question must be open to construction, and a statute is open to construction when its terms require interpretation or may reasonably be considered ambiguous.

         5. Insurance: Physician and Patient: Words and Phrases. A copayment is generally understood as the amount an insured must pay in order to receive a medical service.

         6. Statutes: Appeal and Error. An appellate court will not read into a statute a meaning that is not there.

         [299 Neb. 129] 7. Statutes: Legislature: Intent. The intent of the Legislature may be found through its omission of words from a statute as well as its inclusion of words in a statute.

         Appeal from the District Court for Lancaster County: John A. Colborn, Judge. Affirmed.

          Mark D. Hill, Marnie A. Jensen, and Kamron T.M. Hasan, of Husch Blackwell, L.L.P., and, on brief, L. Steven Grasz, for appellants.

          Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and David A. Lopez for appellee.

          John C. Hewitt and Jonathan J. Papik, of Cline, Williams, Wright, Johnson & Oldfather, L.L.P, for amicus curiae America's Health Insurance Plans, Inc.

          Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Kelch, and Funke, JJ.

          Cassel, J.

         INTRODUCTION

         Health insurance policyholders brought a declaratory judgment action to determine whether a statute[1] allows insurance policies to impose higher copayments on policyholders when they obtain a covered service from a chiropractor rather than from a medical doctor. The district court concluded that it does. Because the plain language of the statute does not require insurance policies to charge identical copayments for a covered service regardless of the type of provider, we affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         Currently, health insurance policies in Nebraska are permitted to charge a policyholder a higher copayment if covered [299 Neb. 130] services are obtained from a chiropractor rather than from a medical doctor. Three Nebraska residents and a nonprofit corporation (collectively Policyholders) filed a declaratory judgment action against the director of the Nebraska Department of Insurance. Policyholders requested an order declaring that § 44-513 precludes future approval of an insurance policy in Nebraska which requires a higher payment from a policyholder if the policyholder receives care for a covered service from a chiropractor rather than from a medical ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.