The Spokesman-Review

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Questions about health insurance

I was grateful to see my state Rep. Joe Schmick weigh in on health insurance in his op-ed in The Spokesman-Review on Dec. 14. He asked some pointed questions to Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler about policy cancellations, lack of approval of health plans and making it difficult for people in Washington state to keep their insurance if they want it. These questions need answers.

In December 2011, I asked pointed questions to Commissioner Kreidler and my legislators (Reps. Schmick and Susan Fagan, and Sen. Mark Schoesler) about a sudden 41 percent increase in my long-term care insurance cost from Met Life. Schmick wrote a letter to Kreidler on my behalf and Shawn Vestal wrote a column about the issue.

Kreidler responded he couldn’t do anything under the law. So my question for Schmick and other legislators: What have you done since 2011 to make the insurance commissioner responsive to the health insurance needs of the citizens of Washington state, especially senior citizens on fixed incomes?

Why hasn’t Commissioner Kreidler been given the legal tools to do his job protecting consumers, and if he has been given those tools, why isn’t he using them?

John Thielbahr

Pullman



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