Health insurance companies rejected by Commissioner Kreidler
Washington’s Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler, has rejected 5 insurers from the state’s health insurance exchange. The move has received some criticism from consumers and advocacy groups in the state, spurring the Commissioner to make a statement concerning his decision. According to Kreidler, there were substantial problems with the plans being offered by the insurance companies and these problems could not be effectively resolved. The state’s health insurance exchange currently boasts of 31 plans offered by four insurers.
Many plans lacked network coverage
One of the problems with the rejected plans has to do with their inability to offer an adequate health care provider network. One of the rejected plans did not include a pediatric hospital while another did not offer coverage for prescriptions obtained through retail pharmacies. Other plans did not offer coverage for transplant surgeries and some refused to offer access to health care experts specializing in HIV/AIDS.
Commissioner wants to see more completion among insurers
Commissioner Kreidler notes that rejecting the health insurance plans was a difficult decision. The state’s health insurance exchange is meant to boost competition among insurers, thereby driving down rates for coverage. The fewer participants that the exchange has, the less competition there is. Commissioner Kreidler is keen to keep competition among insurers high in order to encourage them to provide innovative health insurance plans at relatively low costs.
State to continue working with health insurance providers to make exchange more attractive
The state will continue working with health insurance companies in order to bolster their participation in the exchange. The exchange is scheduled to begin open enrollment on October 1 of this year, per federal law. Policies sold through the health insurance exchange will go active on January 1, 2014. Commissioner Kreidler notes that complying with the federal health care law has been a difficult and challenging process, but he remains optimistic about the future and suggests that many insurance companies will find success.