Posts tagged: Mike Kreidler
A special enrollment period will last from Wednesday through Nov. 14, allowing customers with unresolved problems to sign up for different plans or with different companies. There’s a catch: They could lose their subsidies or any deductible credits or out-of-pocket expenses they've built up with their current plans. But for people unable to straighten out problems with payments, claims or billings for their current plan, re-enrollment in a different plan would give them coverage, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said.
“It's not a perfect solution,” Kreidler said. “But it’s an option.”
Health exchange officials argued it wasn't a good option for most people…
To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.
OLYMPIA — Businesses that offer health coverage to opposite-sex spouses must also offer it to same-sex spouses, state officials said today. Insurance plans must offer equal coverage to all spouses.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and Human Rights Commission Executive Director Sharon Ortiz issued an open letter today to the state's employers, insurance companies and benefit plan administrators that state law requires same-sex and opposite-sex spouses to be offered equal health coverage. Otherwise they run afoul of the state laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The letter follows on the heels of an agreement the attorney general's office reached with O'Reilly Automotive Inc. this spring to extent health benefits to same-sex couples after the state received a consumer protection complaint. It's not possible to send the letter to every employer in the state, Ferguson said, so the three held a joint press conference and sent the information to various e-mail lists.
The state banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in 2006, and voters approved a law legalizing same-sex marriage in 2012.
Ferguson said his office had only one other complaint of a company not providing health care benefits to same-sex partners and “can't take a guess” on how many others might be violating the law. But if O'Reilly, a large national company with what he termed sophisticated legal advice could be out of compliance, others could, too. He urged anyone facing discrimination on benefits for spouses to contact his office.
Kreidler said letters were going out to the 48 insurance companies operating in the state, although his office has not received any complaints about carriers failing to offer benefits to same-sex couples. While it's possible an employer could drop benefits for opposite-sex spouses to comply with the law, the financial impact of covering the additional spouses is relatively minor, he added.
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.
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.
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. . .
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.”
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?
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.
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.”