In Washington state, health insurers and hospitals have united to fight Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler about his proposed new rule for insurance-provider networks. Kreidler proposed the rule after hearing complaints that consumers were not prepared for the narrower networks in insurance plans offered under the ACA. These networks excluded some of Washington’s most prominent hospitals and medical centers, limiting consumers access to providers they expected to use.
The new rule will make it easier for consumers to find which hospital and providers are in the network for a plan they are considering buying. In addition, the rule has a number of requirements to ensure that networks have sufficient numbers and types of providers and facilities so that patients can access them without any delay.
Kreidler hopes to implement the rule as soon as this week to make the May 1 deadline for insurer plans for 2015 coverage. Insurers are complaining that they do not have enough time to comply; providers believe the rule adds costs with no gain in access to quality health care.
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