With talk of allowing interstate insurance sales billowing from D.C., Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued a statement cautioning against the practice.
“Proposals at the Congressional level to allow interstate sales of health insurance policies would weaken consumer protection and make insurance harder to get,” he said. “It’s a false promise that should never be turned loose on consumers.
“Interstate sales of health policies are talked about as part of the plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Proponents, including President Trump, say the proposal would benefit consumers.
“Nothing could be further from the truth.
“Interstate sales would lead to a race to the bottom for consumer protection,” Kreidler continued. “They would weaken state regulatory power and encourage insurers to locate in the state with the least oversight. Health insurers would then be able to cherry-pick customers and avoid anyone with a health condition. Policies would cover less and discourage the sick from even applying for coverage.
“The overall result would be less competition among health insurers and fewer choices for consumers. The American Academy of Actuaries noted recently that individuals with health conditions would face difficulty in obtaining coverage.
“As the insurance regulator in a state with a long and robust track record of protecting consumers, I adamantly oppose interstate sales of health policies.
Kreidler has been vocal of late in criticizing the GOP in D.C. about the party’s stances on insurance. Last month, the insurance commissioner disputed Republican claims on the Affordable Care Act, saying that the party’s rhetoric ignored significant consumer gains.