News Releases

HEALTH EXCHANGE: Murray Urges Insurers to Reach Out to Families With Cancelled Plans

Nov 22 2013

Additional outreach on consumer choices will help consumers access affordable, quality health plans available on the Exchange

“It is important to ensure that all Washingtonians have all the information they need to make health care decisions… I believe that providing an additional level of outreach to these consumers will be beneficial for all.”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, in a letter to Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, U.S. Senator Patty Murray urged health insurance companies to reach out, in writing, to consumers whose health plans have been cancelled and provide clear information on the affordable, quality health care options available to them through Washington Healthplanfinder, the state exchange created through the Affordable Care Act.  More than two-thirds of Washingtonians who currently have a plan in the individual market will be eligible for subsidies to lower their health care cost. Washington state is a national leader in implementing health care reform, and already, more than 100,000 Washingtonians have enrolled in new health plans though the Exchange.

“Specifically, I am asking that you urge insurance companies in our state who have canceled these policies to reach out, in writing, to once again make clear to these consumers what options are available to them for accessing affordable, quality health care, including on the Washington state exchange,” Senator Murray wrote.  “I think you would agree that this additional contact will go a long way in giving these consumers, many of whom are unsure of where to turn, the information and peace of mind they need to know that options are still available for them.”

The full text of the letter can be read here:

November 22, 2013

Mike Kriedler, Insurance Commissioner
Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner
PO Box 40256
Olympia, Washington 98504-0256

Dear Commissioner Kriedler:

Thank you for your commitment and dedication in working to ensure that Washingtonians have access to affordable health care coverage.  Your leadership and work in implementing the Affordable Care Act is greatly appreciated and I am proud that you represent Washington.

The Affordable Care Act will provide millions of Americans with more comprehensive, affordable, quality health insurance coverage.  It has already given consumers more protections and better value as part of a broad effort to reform what was unquestionably a badly broken health care system.  In fact, key provisions such as guaranteed coverage and ensuring that no American will ever be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, are already helping to bring about a better, more stabilized insurance market.  Understandably, this is a process that will take time getting used to and clearly there have been, and will continue to be, challenges and frustrations along the way toward full implementation.

As we work together to ensure the ACA is implemented the right way for our state, it is important to ensure that all Washingtonians have all the information they need to make health care decisions.  I understand and appreciate that your office worked with the insurers as they drafted cancellation notices, to make sure notices contained appropriate information.  However, given the level of uncertainty on this issue around the country and our state, I believe that providing an additional level of outreach to these consumers will be beneficial for all.

Specifically, I am asking that you urge insurance companies in our state who have canceled these policies to reach out, in writing, to once again make clear to these consumers what options are available to them for accessing affordable, quality health care, including on the Washington state exchange. I think you would agree that this additional contact will go a long way in giving these consumers, many of whom are unsure of where to turn, the information and peace of mind they need to know that options are still available for them.

As always, I am happy to work with your office further on this outreach and help in any way possible.  Thank you again for your continued commitment to Washington State, I look forward to our continued work together.

Sincerely,

Patty Murray
U.S. Senator