We are very disappointed that none of the Medicaid health plans were approved by the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner to participate in the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
The OIC outcome has limited our clients’ ability to maintain continuity of care. Residents whose income is variable will frequently transition back and forth between Medicaid coverage and the exchange. They want to be able to keep their doctors and their health plans. Excluding Medicaid companies means this will not be possible.
Mercy Housing Northwest houses more than 600 people per day in our affordable housing in Tacoma. We strive to create an environment in which those community members who lack the economic resources to acquire safe and quality housing for their families. We feel equally strong about the health and well-being of these families, so this recent decision hits close to home for us.
We urge Commissioner Mike Kriedler and the OIC to work with the Medicaid health plans to provide satisfactory choices on the exchange.
(Rumpf is president of Mercy Housing Northwest.)