Kreidler proposes bill to stabilize individual market, reduce premium costs

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is proposing legislation to help provide stability and confidence that over 300,000 people are able to maintain coverage in Washington’s individual health insurance market.

Kreidler’s proposed reinsurance program would encourage more health plan options in the 2019 individual market and lower premium increases by up to 10 percent.

“Over the last year, the federal government has created substantial uncertainty in the individual health insurance market across the nation,” Kreidler said. “We’ve felt those effects in our state. A reinsurance program would help counter those negative effects and provide increased stability to a market that is a vital lifeline for so many consumers in our state.”

Reinsurance provides health insurers partial reimbursement for high-cost medical claims that exceed a certain threshold. These type of claims typically involve extremely serious health issues, such as cancer, complications from diabetes and pre-mature births, among others.

The legislation (HB 2355/SB 6062) has two prime co-sponsors: Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-49th District in Vancouver (SB 6062), and Rep. Eileen Cody, D-34th District in Seattle.