Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler testified today before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee in Washington, D.C., calling for Congress to help stabilize individual health insurance markets.
Kreidler joined four other insurance commissioners from Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Alaska and Oklahoma in urging Congress to take appropriate steps to protect consumers.
Despite describing Washington’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act as a success, Kreidler told lawmakers that “Washington state is not immune from the instability caused by the growing uncertainty and actions by the current administration.
“We’ve made tremendous progress in lowering our uninsured rate and our individual market has remained relatively stable since the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2014,” he added. “But this year has been a serious jolt to our system, with fewer insurers and higher proposed rate increases.”
Among his recommendation were permanently fund cost-sharing reduction payments; create a federal reinsurance program – similar to what was in place during the early years of the ACA, which helped lower premiums; and ensuring that any innovations granted to states protect coverage and affordability.
“I’m very hopeful that we can build on today’s bipartisan hearing and find common ground to protect this insurance market that more than 330,000 Washingtonians rely on for health coverage,” said Kreidler.