WHAT: Senate Bill 6458

SPONSORED BY: Senators Becker, Angel, Dammeier, Brown, Tom, Schoesler, Bailey, Braun, Hill, Baumgartner, Litzow, Parlette, and Honeyford

WHAT IT WOULD DO:

  • Eliminate the state’s elected insurance commissioner and replace that official with a board of appointees, two from each of the four legislative caucuses plus two non-voting gubernatorial appointees.

FACTS ABOUT WASHINGTON’S INSURANCE COMMISSIONER AND THE PROPOSED BOARD

  • Washington has had an elected insurance commissioner since 1907. Commissioner Mike Kreidler was re-elected to his fourth term in office in 2012 with 58.3% of the vote.
  • The commissioner oversees Washington’s entire insurance industry (home, auto, health, life, disability, title, annuities, business, credit, crop, warranties & service contracts, unusual risk situations, pets, travel, boat/marine, and Medicare) and advocates for consumers, directly helping more than 100,000 consumers each year.
  • The commissioner regulates insurance plans sold in Washington state and approves plans for sale on the Health Benefit Exchange.
  • According to the Association of Insurance Commissioners, every state has an individual responsible for insurance regulation – 11 states have elected commissioners and 39 have a single gubernatorial appointee.

QUOTE FROM SEN. KAREN KEISER:

“Washington has been a national leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act, in no small part due to the terrific work of Commissioner Kreidler. He has made sure that insurance plans protect consumers and that people get the coverage they pay for. His work with the Legislature has expanded health insurance to hundreds of thousands of previously uninsured Washingtonians, keeping people healthier and protecting them from medical bankruptcy.

“Commissioner Kreidler’s efforts to boost outreach and ensure transparency throughout the process for delivery health care have consistently safeguarded the health care needs of residents across our state. It makes no sense to politicize a public office that is serving the needs of Washingtonians so effectively.”