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FCWPP opposes 2SSB 5540

Your voice is desperately needed to retain the comprehensive mental health care coverage insurers are currently required to provide in our state! 2SSB 5540—which FCWPP opposes—will be heard tomorrow, April 4th , in the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government.  2SSB 5540 supports in-state sales of out-of-state insurance products. This has not been allowed in the past, in part, because out-of-state insurers frequently are not required to cover all conditions, and types of care, as comprehensively as is required by Washington law. FCWPP opposes 2SSB 5540 because it would:
  • Exempt out-of-state health plans from nearly all of our state’s comprehensive insurance mandates, including mental health parity.
  • Erode patient protection laws and the regulatory authority of Washington’s Office of Insurance Commissioner.
  • Create a loophole for abuse, as “Substantially equal” is not “equal”. Although out-of-state insurers would be required to provide benefits that are “substantially equal,” this term is undefined and ambiguous.

We urge you to contact members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and ask that they oppose 2SSB 5540. If either of your state representatives serves on this subcommittee (see list below) your comments will have a significantly increased impact on this issue. If you do not know what legislative district you live in click DistrictFinder and input your home address. Giving out-of-state insurers a competitive advantage by allowing them to sell products that cost less because they cover less will either put in-state insurers out of business or force legislators to reduce the level of coverage in-state insurers are required to provide. Although 2SSB 5540 contains language that attempts to address this issue, Washington State Psychological Association Director of Professional Affairs Lucy Homans says the language does not go far enough. Dr. Homans joined retired Washington State Hospital Association Policy Vice President Randy Revelle and Health Insurance Executive Sean Corry to warn: This bill [will] erode patient protections, insurance mandates, and OIC [Office of Insurance Commissioner] authority. … [It will] exempt out-of-state health plans from nearly all of RCW 48.43, our state’s comprehensive insurance reform and patient protection laws. In particular, they would be exempt from our state insurance mandates, including mental health parity, as well as our “every category of provider” law. Homans, Revelle, and Corry stress attempts to address this concern with striker amendments have been unsuccessful. FCWPP agrees; we oppose the original bill, and the bill as modified by the strikers. Please, draft an email right now, the bill is scheduled for a public hearing in this committee at 1:30 on April 4 (tomorrow). For more information, see: House Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government Members are listed below with District numbers and email addresses.

Representative District Email Phone
Hudgins, Zack (D) Chair 11th (360) 786-7956
Parker, Kevin (R) * 5th (360) 786-7922
Buys, Vincent (R) 42nd (360) 786-7854
Chandler, Bruce (R) 15th (360) 786-7960
Dunshee, Hans (D) 44th (360) 786-7804
Hunt, Sam (D) 22nd (360) 786-7992
Pedersen, Jamie (D) 43rd (360) 786-7826
Springer, Larry (D) 45th (360) 786-7822
Taylor, David (R) 15th (360) 786-7874

* Ranking Minority Member Thanks for all you do! Sincerely, FCWPP Legislative Committee ———————————————————————————————————— In addition to your direct involvement in advocacy, FCWPP cannot continue its work without your financial support. Credit card contributions may be made online at, clicking on the “Donate” button near the top of the page on the right. Mail checks payable to “FCWPP” to: FCWPP Treasurer, 838 Hiawatha Place S, Seattle, WA 98144. Although FCWPP is not for profit, because it is a lobbying organization contributions are NOT tax deductible.

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