Monday, July 27, 2015

Medicare and Medicaid celebrate 50 years this week

July 30 is the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, which serves 1 out of every 3 Americans. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler will join the celebration by speaking at the Northwest regional event, held on July 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Greenwood Senior Center in Seattle. The event is being hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Region X Office.

Commissioner Kreidler will join a panel of experts to discuss how Medicare and Medicaid have changed society and the ways in which we can work together to strengthen and improve health care for future generations in Washington state.

You’re invited to attend the celebration; register here.

CMS is observing the 50th anniversary by reflecting on the impact of these two programs and raising awareness about the services they provide to Americans.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Contract forges stronger bond with Washington’s Indian tribes for health care

Commissioner Mike Kreidler and representatives of the American Indian Health Commission signed a landmark contract July 21 that is designed to improve health care for Washington state Indian tribes.

From left: Vicki Lowe, John Hamje, Leslie Wosnig, Carolyn Smith,
Commissioner Kreidler, Todd Dixon

The contract will fund and support training for tribal staff and members regarding their Medicare insurance options.

The support comes through the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors program, better known as SHIBA. Kreidler’s office manages the program in Washington. Funding is split by the state and federal governments.

“I’m proud of the strong working relationship we have with the American Indian Health Commission and Washington tribes,” Kreidler said at the contract signing. “This will help us better understand and respect the rights and interests of tribal members.”

Signing the contract on behalf of the tribes was Leslie Wosnig of the Suquamish Tribe. She is also secretary of the American Indian Health Commission. Vicki Lowe, grant manager for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, also attended the event.

SHIBA provides free and unbiased information about health care access and coverage in Washington. The contract with the American Indian Health Commission will support several activities, including helping tribal elders understand their Medicare options and get assistance with prescription drug plans.

The program serves more than 100,000 state residents annually through volunteer advisers.

“This is an unprecedented partnership. Now we’ll be working even more closely together to make quality health care more accessible to tribal members throughout the state,” Kreidler said. “Our goal is to reduce disparities in health care. Our mission is to help all who live in Washington.”

Monday, July 20, 2015

OIC hiring Deputy Commissioner for Company Supervision

The OIC is looking for a Deputy Insurance Commissioner for our Company Supervision Division. This rewarding position manages a wide variety of situations and influences the course of insurance affairs, at the state, national, and international levels through contacts with the regulatory community and through colleagues in the agency. This position works together with the other members of the Executive Management Team to set strategic direction of the agency; establish legislative goals; ensure fiscal responsibility; and, create an inclusive, performance based culture. This is a civil service exempt position.

The Deputy for the Company Supervision Division is an executive leader who manages a division of approximately 57 employees at two locations. This position is the highest authority within OIC with designated responsibility to direct the regulatory program and internal operations of the Company Supervision Division.

This position is responsible for the financial and market examination and supervision of all Washington organized insuring entities and all other insuring entities licensed to do business in this state. The position’s mission is to protect insurance consumers, the public generally, and the state’s economy by ensuring the safety and soundness of insuring entities, and to ensure that they comply with applicable law. This position has broad statutory discretion and specific statutory authority involving the registration/licensing, operation, supervision, receivership, liquidation, and merger of insuring entities.

Duties of this position include:
  • Regulating and supervising all insuring entities organized in Washington to assure financial stability and compliance with consumer facing market activity regulations.
  • Licensing, regulating, and supervising all insuring entities organized in other states or non-U.S. jurisdictions that do business in Washington to assure financial stability and compliance with consumer facing market activity regulations.
  • Supervising programs designed to ensure protection of insurance consumers from the failure of insurers doing business in this state and from insurer deviation from legally required market practices. These programs include the management of financially troubled or insolvent insurers and the coordination with insurer guaranty associations.
  • Exercising broad statutory discretion over laws and regulations regarding registration or licensing, operation, liquidation, merger or acquisition of insurers, and insurer activity in the Washington marketplace.
Find more information about this job and other openings at

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Did you know adjusters need an insurance license?

Many consumers are not aware that insurance adjusters are required to have a license.

First, what’s an adjuster? Most people who have had an auto accident or a homeowner’s claim have worked with an adjuster, the person who investigates or reports claims to the insurer. There are three primary types of adjusters:
  • Crop adjusters work on claims under crop insurance.
  • Independent adjusters represent the insurer and work for the insurer. They interact with consumers who file claims with the company.
  • Public adjusters represent the insured. Consumers can hire a public adjuster to represent them to their insurance company. 
Adjusters can get a resident license, meaning that Washington is their state of residence, or they can have a nonresident license, meaning they reside in another state and conduct business in Washington.

Why is important that an adjuster have a license?
Just like an insurance agent or broker has, there are rules of conduct that adjusters must follow. If they don’t, our office can take action against them via a fine and/or taking action against their license. Before you work with an adjuster, regardless of the type of license he or she has, take a moment to look them up in the OIC’s licensing database. You can see the status of the license, agencies the adjuster may represent, and investigations into and disciplinary action taken against the adjuster.

If you have a bad experience with an adjuster, you can file a complaint through our website.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Use extreme caution this Fourth of July

This year's Fourth of July festivities in Washington are complicated by the statewide drought we are experiencing. As a result, many local and state government officials are asking Washington citizens to forego fireworks, even where they are legal. 

Many municipalities in Washington have banned the use of fireworks. Washington State Patrol has a list of fireworks laws in Washington cities. They also have a list of public fireworks displays in Washington

Insurance policies generally cover fires that are accidental in origin. We recommend you talk to your insurance agent or broker about your coverage in the event of a fire or injury on your property.

If guests are injured by a personal display of fireworks, the homeowner policy may include medical coverage and personal liability coverage. 

Find more information about your insurance on our website.