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Thanks, but no thanks... says state

Yesterday, a change-of-course announcement by President Barak Obama will allow insurance companies to continue offering existing health care plans that don’t measure up to the minimum standards as set forth by the Affordable Care Act.

Washington state officials, however, appear to not want to have anything to do with Obama’s new directive.

“We appreciate President Obama’s efforts, through the administrative fix announced (Thursday), to address the concerns of those who have gotten ‘cancellation’ letters from their insurance companies,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.

Washington’s governor said each state will be examining this option to see whether it works for them, “…and we know different states will come to different conclusions.

“Here in Washington, we are fortunate to have a robust insurance exchange, with 46 plans from eight different carriers.

“We’re also fortunate that our exchange, the Washington Healthplanfinder, is up and running and enrolling tens of thousands of people in meaningful and affordable health coverage,” Inslee said.

Because of that, Inslee said, the majority of Washingtonians who get cancellation letters from their insurance providers are able to find better plans and get tax subsidies to help pay for them.

“They are getting better coverage at a better price,” said Inslee.

“Largely because of the success we’ve had implementing the Affordable Care Act so far, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has concluded that the option of extending old health plans is not a good solution for the state of Washington.”

Inslee said the state’s leaders understand these cancellation letters can be upsetting, but officials want to make sure all state residents know how to find the best deal for themselves and their families. Inslee said he encourages everyone to explore their options on the Washington Healthplanfinder website (www.wahealthplanfinder.org) to seek out the help of an in-person assistor or broker to find a plan that fits their needs and their budgets.

“We also want to make sure that the people of our state have meaningful health insurance that will cover them when they get sick or end up in the hospital or find they need ongoing prescription drugs, and we know the plans we have in Washington will do that,” Inslee said.

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