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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Mike Kreidler

Kreidler heart surgery successful

OLYMPIA — Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is recovering from a heart bypass and valve replacement surgery.

A statement from his office said the surgery at an Olympia hospital was planned after doctors had monitored his heart for several months. Kreidler, 69, was elected to a fourth term last November. Acting Chief Deputy Deb McCurley is filling in durying his recovery.

Kreidler: Washington ahead of most states

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler was among the first with instant analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on health care reform.

Not surprisingly, Kreidler, who is a big supporter of the Affordable Care Act, was upbeat. His take: That Washington is ahead of most states because of steps it has taken to comply with the law. It's on track to set up a Health Exchange in 2014, as the law requires; some states have been waiting on the court ruling.

The state is also in line for federal subsidies for 477,000 for insurance for poor people, expanded Medicaid for poor children and a ban on insurance companies denying coverage to people who are sick.

The entire press release is inside the blog. 

Health exchange bill signed

Gregoire signs Health Insurance Exchange bill.

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire and other Democratic officials marked Friday’s second anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act – which Republicans prefer to call Obamacare – with a signing ceremony of their own.

Gregoire signed legislation to help set up health insurance exchanges in Washington, a system that would help individuals and small businesses shop for medical plans by 2014. . .

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog

Spec Sess Day 16: Health care laws signed

OLYMPIA – Washington will stay in the forefront of federal health care reform, and could save as much as $26 billion over the next decade, with a half dozen bills signed into law Wednesday.

Even though the federal health care reforms are being challenged in court and by critics in Congress, Gov. Chris Gregoire and other state officials said the new state laws are needed now. They also make Washington eligible for federal funds while giving the state the chance to reshape health care to fit its needs.

“We can’t sit back and wait,” State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said. “Doing nothing means the feds are going to take over.”

To read the rest of this story, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.
  

WA state makes insurance info a click away

OLYMPIA — Washington residents who are shopping for insurance are now able to check out their prospective agent and insurance company online.

The Washington Insurance Commissioner's office debuted today a new  toolkit that allows consumers to enter the name of the agent, the insurance company, or the location and see any past violations or complaints.

It also explains the ins and outs of different kinds of insurance, allows you to file a complaint online.

“In the past, these types of things sometimes required phone calls, letters in the mail and waiting time while a staffer looked up information,” Commissioner Mike Kreidler said. “With these new tools, people can get the information instantly.”

The agency als has a new page on Facebook...but then, doesn't everyone this side of Outer Mongolia have a page on Facebook?

Kreidler: Limit insurance co. surpluses

OLYMPIA — Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler wants authority to limit the amount of surpluses insurance companies can amass when considering their requested rate hikes.

He’ll ask the Legislature for the authority to take those surpluses into account, and deny rate hikes of an insurance company had surpluses that totaled more than three months worth of claims expenses.

Under current law, surpluses, which include investment income, can’t be considered when deciding a request for a rate increase, Kreidler said in a press release today. “Some non-profit insurers have built up hundreds of millions of dollars in surpluses in recent years, while still seeking double-digit rate hikes.”

He also wants the law changed to let the public see what percentage of a rate request goes to profit, to medical costs and to administrative costs.

WA Lege: Should credit scores help set car premiums?

OLYMPIA – A credit score should not be used to help determine how much a person pays for home or auto insurance premiums, State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler told a legislative panel Wednesday evening.

Factors that affect credit scores can discriminate against low income and minorities, Kreidler said as he lobbied for one of his top priorities, the banning of the practice in Washington state.

“Responsible people get laid off. They consolidate their debt. They shouldn’t have to pay more for insurance because of that,” Kreidler said.

But representatives of the insurance industry told the House Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee that a credit score does help predict good and bad insurance risks and should remain one of many factors the companies can use to set a customer’s rates.

“It’s not magic or voodoo, it’s science,” said Kenton Brine, a representative of the Property Casualty Insurers Association. “It’s actuarially sound.”

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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