Washington's insurance commissioner says the state will not extend the deadline for Obamacare despite the President's announced policy change. (Washington Health Plan Finder screenshot)

Washington insurance commissioner says you can't keep old plan

President Obama has bowed to pressure and announced Thursday that insurance companies can continue offering consumers their existing health plans for one more year. But Washington state's insurance commissioner says he won't allow it.

Commissioner Mike Kreidler tells KIRO Radio he won't be allowing insurance companies to extend their old policies that didn't meet the requirements of federal health care reform.

"I don't believe this proposal is going to be good for Washingtonians because we have been successful in implementing the Affordable Care Act," Kreidler says.

An estimated 290,000 Washington residents have received notices that their old insurance policies will be canceled.

Kreidler, a Democrat, says all of them can get better coverage on the new health care exchange. He says at least half of them will qualify for a subsidy to help them pay the premium.

President Obama announced Thursday he would allow insurance companies to keep selling their old plans to people whose policies were going to be cancelled. But that decision requires state approval.

"Even if I were to say they could extend their policies, from a practical standpoint, it is not something that can be implemented successfully without really doing serious harm to the overall market," Kreidler says.

Kriedler says he is confident most people entering the new insurance marketplace are "going to be very pleased with the choices they have because they have much stronger protections now for out-of-pocket-expenses and coverage."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Josh Kerns,
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for
Top Stories

  • Car Prowl Hot Spots
    A new Seattle police study shows where you're most likely to get car prowled

  • What Are They Building?
    It's hard not to notice a cluster of construction cranes over Seattle's Roosevelt neighborhood

  • Holiday Map
    Find holiday events, Santa photo opportunities, and light displays
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.