Washington State Insurance Commissioner http://kplu.org en Insurance Commissioner: Wash. Health Plans Must Cover Services For Transgender People http://kplu.org/post/insurance-commissioner-wash-health-plans-must-cover-services-transgender-people <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/156042597&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Health plans in Washington state can’t refuse to cover services for transgender people if the same procedures are covered for others, according to a <a href="http://www.insurance.wa.gov/about-oic/news-media/news-releases/2014/documents/gender-identity-discrimination-letter.pdf" target="_blank">statement from the state insurance commissioner</a>.</p><p>It’s not uncommon for private health plans to exclude gender transition procedures and medical services related to them. That’s what happened to Gwen Yeh of Seattle, who said her Premera plan wouldn’t pay for hormones or the frequent blood work she needed as part of her move toward living as a woman.</p><p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 23:53:43 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 17401 at http://kplu.org Insurance Commissioner: Wash. Health Plans Must Cover Services For Transgender People OIC Whistleblower To Speak Out As Questions Linger Over Her Own Conduct http://kplu.org/post/oic-whistleblower-speak-out-questions-linger-over-her-own-conduct <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/152863713&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>An administrative law judge who says her boss meddled in her deliberations is calling for more independence for hearings officers who, like her, work for state agencies. But she faces questions about her own conduct in the case, too.</p><p>Chief presiding officer Patricia Petersen was in the middle of a high-profile dispute between Seattle Children’s Hospital and the state insurance commissioner when she said a prominent official at the commissioner’s office leaned on her to decide in the agency’s favor. That official also happens to be Petersen’s direct supervisor.</p><p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 23:39:18 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16974 at http://kplu.org OIC Whistleblower To Speak Out As Questions Linger Over Her Own Conduct Insurance Commissioner Convenes Probe Of Whistleblower Complaint Against Its Own http://kplu.org/post/insurance-commissioner-convenes-probe-whistleblower-complaint-against-its-own <p>Washington’s Insurance Commissioner is hiring an outside investigator to look into ethics complaints lodged by a hearing officer, and raising questions about the accuser’s own conduct.</p><p>Chief presiding officer Patricia Peterson referees disputes that arise at the commissioner’s office. During an especially contentious case, she says the commissioner’s number-two official tried to improperly influence her judgment.</p><p> Thu, 22 May 2014 22:25:45 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16791 at http://kplu.org Learning why health insurance rates go up http://kplu.org/post/learning-why-health-insurance-rates-go <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kplu/local-kplu-962634.mp3</p><p>Health insurance rates are going up and policies are changing for many people who have an individual plan or work at a small business. Those increases can be maddening and mystifying.</p> Mon, 11 Apr 2011 16:03:02 +0000 Keith Seinfeld 1166 at http://kplu.org Did the 'triple damages' law result in higher premiums? http://kplu.org/post/did-triple-damages-law-result-higher-premiums <p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px; font-size: 12px; ">Three years ago Washington voters upheld the Insurance Fair Conduct Act. It allows triple damages when insurance companies are found to have unfairly denied a claim. At the time, the insurance industry warned premiums would skyrocket and lawyers would get rich. Has that happened?&nbsp;</span></p><p> Mon, 29 Nov 2010 06:10:24 +0000 Austin Jenkins 225 at http://kplu.org