New plan | Letter
December 20, 2011 · 7:56 PM
Missing from the announcement of KPS Health Plans' abandonment of the individual health insurance plan market, is that before another carrier will write you, you will have to pass the litmus of screening by filling out a Standard Health Questionnaire. It doesn’t matter how many years you have been on the plan, if you amass too many points due to pre-existing conditions, you will be shunted into the expensive high risk pool.
The Legislature has made provision for enrollees on group plans to be able to move to coverage on an individual plan without being screened, provided they have had 24 months of continuous coverage and experience an event that qualifies them for COBRA coverage. Be on the Washington State Basic Health plan for 24 continuous months and you qualify.
A solution would be a short amendment to the law establishing exemptions listed above, to include in the cohort of exemptees, those enrollees in individual Health Insurer’s plans, when that insurer has abandoned the Individual market, who were enrolled for at least 24 continuous months and submit an application within 90 days of dis-enrollment. To help our neighbors, this law must be passed with an emergency clause this session. There are no lobbyists pushing for passage, only the consciences of our legislative delegation, so it’s up to us to make the calls. Asking the insurance commissioner to weigh in could help.