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Insurance chief lists benefits of health care law

THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011

 Washington state residents have benefitted from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

 Among the most popular provisions of the act, Kreidler said, is the one allowing children to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.

 Also benefitting state residents are provisions prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions; tax credits for small businesses providing insurance to employees; and help closing the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug coverage.

 Responding to criticism that the act has raised the cost of insurance, Kreidler, a former Democratic state legislator, said the increase – 3 percent to 5 percent in Washington – has come with a corresponding increase in benefits, such as no charge for preventative services and no lifetime caps.

 “This is far from a perfect document, I think we all agree to that,” Kreidler said. “But we didn’t have a choice. The system was collapsing on us.”

Staff writer Kevin Graman



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