For Consumers

About Mike Kreidler

Commissioner Mike Kreidler has served the people of Washington in elected offices and appointed posts for more than 30 years. Born and raised around Tacoma, he has represented our state with dedication, while also managing a professional career in optometry. 

Kreidler has distinguished himself through his work on health care and the environment to insurance. He was elected Washington State’s eighth Insurance Commissioner in November 2000. Voters returned him to office in 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020.


  • Kreidler earned a Doctor of Optometry degree from Pacific University in Oregon and a master’s degree in public health from UCLA. As an optometrist, he worked for 20 years for Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound in Olympia.
  • His first elected office was on the North Thurston School District Board of Directors. He was elected in 1973. 
  • He served in the Washington state Legislature as a Representative and Senator for 16 years. He led the way on major legislation on generic drugs, respite care, HIV/AIDS, health care cost containment, foster care, and day care.
  • As a freshman in the U.S. Congress in 1992, Kreidler won a coveted seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the subcommittees on Health and the Environment and Energy and Power. Kreidler took on issues of food safety, violence against women, Medicare reimbursement rules, improved mental health services and expedited Superfund cleanups.
  • Kreidler retired as Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves with over 20 years of active and reserve service. In January 1991, his hospital reserve unit was called to active duty in January 1991 in support of Desert Storm and he was assigned to Madigan Hospital in Washington State.

Leading Washington as Insurance Commissioner

As Insurance Commissioner, Kreidler is responsible for regulating Washington’s $30 billion insurance industry. He helped strengthen the market to give consumers more options while cutting excessive rate increases by insurers to save consumers over $310 million. 

Accomplishments include:

  • Helped individual consumers recover over $160 million on their insurance policies when payments were delayed or denied.
  • Protected women by requiring contraceptives to be included in prescription drug coverage.
  • Brought transparency and regulatory oversight to the individual health insurance market.
  • Strengthened the law to protect consumers from surprise medical bills.

Kreidler has established a reputation as a strong consumer advocate. 

His legacy includes:

  • Stabilizing Washington’s individual health insurance market, limiting premium hikes and defending the federal Affordable Care Act in the face of repeal efforts.
  • Taking health insurers to task for denying medically necessary coverage to transgender patients. 
  • Ensuring that behavioral health care is available to all Washingtonians seeking and needing services.
  • Being a national leader in developing a climate change work group and guidelines for evaluating insurers’ climate-change risks and mitigation.
  • Cracking down on illegal insurance products including those sold by illegitimate health-sharing ministries and unlawful self-defense policies for gun owners.
  • Issuing several critical emergency rules during the pandemic to ensure that insurers covered services such as COVID testing and telemedicine visits.