FW: press advisory
john at wccd.org
Tue Jun 5 16:50:02 PDT 2001
From: Janet Varon [mailto:janet at nohla.org]
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 10:59 AM
To: Tracyc at Lifelongaidsalliance. Org; Sheryl at Wccd. Org; sharonM at nwkidney.
org; Sean Corry; Oicdonnola at Aol. Com; KarenC at whf. org; John at Wccd. Org;
JoAnn at wccd. org; Jeanma at Seniorservices. Org; Jeanette; Bob Crittenden; Barb
Flye; Andrea Abrahamson
Subject: FW: press advisory
From: Barbara Flye [mailto:wcabbf at seanet.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 10:16 AM
To: Sean Corry; Janet Varon; joelh at lifelongaidsalliance.org;
sharonM at nwkidney.org; Bob Crittenden
Subject: press advisory
Janet, can you forward on to the rest of our consumer group? Thanks.
I have sent this via email to the following reporters: Angela Galloway, PI;
Heath Foster, PI; Carol Ostrom, Seattle Times; Rebecca Cook, AP; Beth
Silver, TNT; George Howland, Seattle Weekly; Erin Hennesea, KPLU. Are there
other reporters you all think would be good for me to send this out to?
June 4, 2001
For more information contact:
Barbara Barron Flye, Washington Citizen Action 206-389-0050, Ext. 109
Sean Corry, Consumer Representative WSHIP Board 206-623-7035
Ingrid Goodwin, Northwest Kidney Centers 206-292-2771, Ext. 5357
Janet Varon, Northwest Health Law Advocates 206-325-6464
WSHIP Board to decide fate of most vulnerable Washingtonians
Scheduled vote for Thursday could increase health insurance rates as much as
This Thursday, the Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP) Board will
be deciding the fate of Washingtons most vulnerable population, those in
the high risk pools Medicare supplement plan. At stake is whether
chronically ill and disabled residents of our state will be able to maintain
their only avenue of health coverage. Business interests are pushing hard
and are anticipated to attend the WSHIP Board meeting. They seek to prevent
age rating and to pressure the insurance interests of the board into
charging the maximum allowable rates for this population. This combination
could increase the monthly premiums for some individuals as much as 472%.
Consumer advocates will also be in attendance. Many of those at risk of
losing coverage are HIV/AIDS or transplant patients and could die or lose
their transplants as a result of not having access to the needed medicines
currently provided in their WSHIP plan.
The WSHIP Board is quite empowered to decide the fate of these individuals.
They have the authority to set rates, within certain parameters, for this
group of people. Given increased pressure from the business community and
the Association of Washington Business (AWB) in particular, it is possible
that the majority of the board members will vote to maximize rates, despite
the serious life and death consequences. It is important to note that
according to the WSHIP actuary the estimated additional assessment to keep
rates affordable for this population will amount to only a few pennies per
month per enrollee.
The Washington state statute that created the WSHIP Pool, RCW 48.41.020
states that, "It is the purpose and intent of the legislature to provide
access to health insurance coverage to all residents of Washington who are
denied health insurance. It is the intent of the Washington state health
insurance coverage access act to provide a mechanism to ensure the
availability of comprehensive health insurance to persons unable to obtain
such insurance coverage on either an individual or group basis directly
under any health plan."
The WSHIP Board meets Thursday, June 7, 2001 from 9:30 to noon at the
downtown Seattle Sheraton, located at 1400 6th Avenue.
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