Insurance Regulation

It’s been a tough few years for health insurance professionals. But, it’s been toughest on families and small businesses. Regulatory and political confusion grows with each passing day. Another mother with a sick child wilts from the double-talk, back-tracking, and double-cross – and that’s just her health plan. She must still suffer the hollow promise of better benefits just around the corner.

In many years of public and private practice, I have never had so many calls from desperate people. Grown men break down and cry over the stress of getting drugs approved or surgery authorized or a referral to a good doctor. I provide as much help as I can knowing that once they finish their appeals, complain to regulators, and write their legislator, there is not much left to do. Most of them face costs that hurt the family budget but don’t justify the expense of a lawyer.

It’s at the end of a long week of sad conversations that I offer this single observation.

In our frenetic efforts to keep up and survive health care reform, let’s remember a fundamental principle:

The business of insurance is one affected by the public interest, requiring that all persons be actuated by good faith, abstain from deception, and practice honesty and equity in all insurance matters. Upon the insurer, the insured, their providers, and their representatives rests the duty of preserving inviolate the integrity of insurance. [Revised Code of Washington § 48.01.030]

Keep the faith.