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The Regulatory Stew

Association Health Plans – Some Clarity at Last

After years of confusion and drift, the Insurance Commissioner’s Office (OIC) has begun a more transparent process of sorting out the winners and losers in the Washington association health plan market. Change has come quickly in the past week beginning March 5th with the Association of Washington Business withdraw of their demand for hearing challenging the…

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Agency Judge Denies BHT Request to Stop Commissioner Disapproval of Health Plans

On February 13, Judge George Finkle (Ret.), presiding officer in the Business Health Trust administrative action against the Insurance Commissioner ruled: “BHT is not entitled to a hearing or to an automatic stay under RCW 48.04.020(1). I do not grant a discretionary stay under RCW 48.04.020(2). This Order is without prejudice to BHT’s renewed Demand…

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Update: Association Health Plan Litigation

Last Friday the 6th, attorneys representing the 13 Seattle Chamber association health plan trusts (BHT) made a course correction in their action against the Washington Insurance Commissioner (OIC). Even more interesting, BHT lead attorney Richard J. Birmingham filed a declaration that explains some of the oddities of the case. In the BHT “reply in support of…

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Commissioner responds to court challenge by BHT

On February 2nd, the Washington Insurance Commissioner’s office (OIC) responded to the Business Health Trust (BHT) request for an injunction against the OIC.  BHT and the other association plans represented are trying to prevent the OIC from disapproving large group health plans for the associations. The response consists of the agency’s arguments and supporting declarations from…

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Dental Plans…briefly

Because sometimes the obvious is not – a dental or vision plan is not a “health plan” as defined under federal health care reform or under Washington insurance law. These plans are often referenced in rule as “excepted benefits,” e.g., excepted from the definition of “health plan.” Consequently, those who fear the regulatory “reaper” should relax and stop…

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