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HealthCare Checkup

The Seattle Times health-care team tracks the local impact of the Affordable Care Act.

September 5, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Kreidler approves Coordinated Care plans for insurance exchange

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler announced Thursday that he has approved Coordinated Care’s three health plans for sale in the state’s new online health insurance marketplace, Washington Healthplanfinder.

The decision increases to 46 the number of individual health plans that will be sold through Healthplanfinder when enrollment opens on Oct. 1.

Coordinated Care’s three plans – gold, silver and bronze – will be sold in 14 counties: King and Snohomish as well as Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Grays Harbor, Skagit, Spokane, Thurston, Walla Walla and Yakima.

Kreidler’s decision is a major victory for Coordinated Care, which vigorously fought his earlier decision to reject the plans the company had submitted for the exchange.

Kreidler’s primary reason for rejecting Coordinated Care’s plans centered on the company’s network of providers, which does not include a pediatric specialty hospital or Level I burn unit.

Coordinated Care argued its case during three days of hearings before an administrative-law judge last week.

Judge Patricia D. Peterson, chief presiding officer in the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, issued a final order late Tuesday  favorable to Coordinated Care.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board, which certified health plans offered by seven insurers at its Wednesday meeting, has scheduled a meeting early Friday to vote on certifying Coordinated Care’s plans.

Coordinated Care President and CEO Jay Fathi said in a statement that he is “very pleased” with Kreidler’s decision. “We are excited to help our state launch a successful Health Benefit Exchange next year,” he said.

Coordinated Care is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Centene Corp. and has been selling health plans associated with the Medicaid program in Washington since 2012.

The company is the eighth insurer to have plans approved for the Exchange. The others are Premera Blue Cross, Lifewise Health Plan of Washington (a subsidiary of Premera), Group Health Cooperative, BridgeSpan (affiliated with Regence Blue Shield), Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, and two other Medicaid insurers, Community Health Plan of Washington and Molina Healthcare of Washington.

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