Planning matters

Baker & Johnson Bixby Go to Washington (Olympia)

As a firm, we strive to stay up-to-date with legislative changes, both locally and nationally, that could affect the planning we do for our clients at Johnson Bixby. In addition, we look for opportunities to share our perspective and try to influence the decisions that are being made. Here’s what Kim & Heidi have been up to lately.

Last fall, Kim was been appointed to serve on a committee advising the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. In her role at the agency, she participates in group discussions to review key issues and developments within the industry. Heidi also served on this committee the prior two years, so we’ve had continuity of representation at the state level.

At the most recent meeting in mid-May, the big topic of the day was the recent House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), which is still working its way through the Senate. Depending on what aspects are included in the final legislation, there is potential for increased litigation from providers & insurers, premiums may be rise substantially yet again, and more carriers could look to exit the marketplace. There is concern that the insurance marketplace could be seriously destabilized if any of these developments play out.

The Commissioner’s office is keeping a close eye on developments so they can be better prepared to react once legislation is passed. It’s a bit of a balancing act, keeping enough insurers interested and able to provide coverage at a profitable level to maintain choice & competition, while also ensuring that consumers are treated fairly and that rates remain stable.

For more information about current insurance issues & news, check out the Washington State Insurance Commission website at https://www.insurance.wa.gov.

We had a chance to be involved on a national scale. Heidi recently returned from Washington, DC where she and a group of other Oregon and Washington advisors met with House and Senate representatives on proposed industry regulations.

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Written By Johnson Bixby