August 12, 2016

Retirees endorse Mike Kreidler for The Office of the Insurance Commissioner

The National Alliance for Retired Americans announces their endorsed federal candidates once primaries are over. They mail questionnaires to primary winners and score answers from the candidates. Since their national endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President, no federal endorsements have been announced by them for our State yet.

The Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund (WSARA-EF) restructured as a C4 political organization too late this year to plan any endorsement process for screening political candidates. However, our new Political Action Committee carefully reviewed the statewide candidates that the Washington State Labor Council endorsed at their COPE Convention in May. Only one candidate stood out as having great importance to seniors and has broad support among labor unions and community organizations and that is Mike Kreidler.

Good health care becomes more important as we age, but with most of us on a fixed income, good affordable care is vital.  In his position as Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler has proven he will work diligently to protect seniors. Therefore, the Executive Board approved the Political Action Committee’s recommendation to endorse Mike Kreidler in his reelection campaign for Office of Insurance Commissioner.

Kreidler understands his office’s weighty responsibility to regulate Medicare Supplement Plans and assist Medicare beneficiaries in navigating their health care options.  While states are forbidden by law from regulating Medicare Advantage plans, which have little to no oversight on the federal level, he is able to ensure that the Medicare Supplement plans are clear and compliant with all regulations.  In addition, the office of the Insurance Commissioner runs the SHIBA program.

SHIBA stands for Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors. It’s a statewide network of nearly 400 highly trained volunteers who have been helping seniors and others understand their health insurance options for more than 35 years in Washington state. SHIBA offers free, unbiased assistance with health care choices, including Medicare, to more than 100,000 Washington residents each year.  Unfortunately, the Alliance for Retired Americans has been alerted that this program’s funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is being threatened on the federal level.

Navigating the Medicare program is complicated and both plan changes and health needs mean that bad enrollment decisions could cost seniors more for higher premiums or a less than beneficial plan. That is why seniors will need to help preserve the good work being done in this office by not only supporting Kreidler for re-election, but also letting their members of Congress know that we want them to support the funding for this important program.

Kreidler endorsement

A group of Alliance members met yesterday to get first-hand information on how the Office of the Insurance Commissioner assists seniors. In the photo, from left to right: Charleen Goodrich, and Nancy Heley, Retired Public Employees Council; Lola Zeth, retired SEIU; Pam Harris retired IAM; Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, WSARA-EF President Jackie Boschok, Don Zeth, retired IAM; Judy Padur, and Jim Padur, retired IAM.

Seniors are often being taken advantage of, but we have one of the largest voting blocks and need to use it to help protect ourselves.  Please vote for Mike Kreidler for the Office of Insurance and ask your member of Congress to support full funding of the SHIBA program.

Written by
Topics: Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *