Wash. insurance commissioner opposes extending canceled health plans

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The following is a statement from Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler:

OLYMPIA — “We have worked for three years to implement the Affordable Care Act in a way that works best for Washingtonians. One goal of our efforts has been to build a stable, fair and competitive individual health insurance market."

I know that many people who buy their own health insurance have struggled to keep their coverage. That is why we have worked so hard to make these significant changes. We have brought meaningful benefits to this market that the rest of us with employer-sponsored health plans have enjoyed for years; benefits like prescription drug coverage, maternity care, and reasonable limits on out-of-pocket costs. Our state-based Exchange – Wahealthplanfinder.org – is up and running and successfully enrolling thousands of consumers.

I understand that many people are upset by the notices they have recently received from their health plans and they may not need the new benefits today. But I have serious concerns about how President Obama’s proposal would be implemented and more significantly, its potential impact on the overall stability of our health insurance market.

I do not believe his proposal is a good deal for the state of Washington. In the interest of keeping the consumer protections we have enacted and ensuring that we keep health insurance costs down for all consumers, we are staying the course. We will not be allowing insurance companies to extend their policies. I believe this is in the best interest of the health insurance market in Washington.

We estimate that 290,000 people will need to buy new coverage and that at least half of them will qualify for a premium subsidy. I encourage anyone who is shopping for new health plans – whether you’ve been uninsured or have received a cancellation notice from your insurer – to look at all of your options. Don’t just take what your insurance company says. You may find better, more affordable coverage with a different insurer. There are 46 individual health plans for sale in the Exchange and 51 plans available outside the Exchange. If you need help reviewing your options, contact a navigator or an agent or broker.

Comments

PearlY 5 months, 1 week ago

Nice of Mr. Kreidler to decide I must buy and pay for a new Mercedes when all I really need is a used Corolla.

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namvet60 5 months, 1 week ago

My wife has checked on her policy and was told she would hear from them in a couple of days. Also checking on the so-called health plan calculator the premium will rise by $200.00/month. Being over 60 I seriously doubt if these little add-ons are really worth $200.00 more with a $6350.00 deductible? I wonder why this President thinks that his credibility is in jeopardy?

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mspinks 5 months, 1 week ago

The two lowest premiums quoted to me had deductibles of $5000 and $6500. Those are out of pocket expenses that government subsidies do not help with.

From talking with someone who works at GroupHealth, the above mentioned commissioner implemented the 10 essential benefits (which are required for each policy) by implementing what a Cadillac plan offered and used those as benchmarks. So WA is now getting the best, but also paying for it.

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barracuda 5 months, 1 week ago

When this all done... its new name will Demo-care.... Since it all about the Dems forcing it down our throats.... It is already starting to get sticky...

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Chas 5 months, 1 week ago

Yes, it was so much better when the uninsured used ERs that raised all our rates and medical costs bankrupted families.

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wallyworldguy 5 months, 1 week ago

What Mike Kreidler is saying is he is a Democrat and he feels a socialistic run country is what he and the dems want, so to hell with the working people who pay their own way, they have to loose the plans they want and can afford so they can buy more expensive plans they don't want, to help pay for the loafers who don't feel the should have to get up and go to work five days a week. Not to mention the illegals, Chas, let me know when you see the rates go down because of ERs not being used so much. Thats a lib for ya, spend 1.6 Trillion to save a few Billion.

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