For Consumers

Kreidler's statement on Kaiser purchase of Group Health

Contact Public Affairs: 360-725-7055

December 4, 2015

Dec. 10, 2015 (updated)

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Group Health Cooperative, a health insurer based in Washington, notified the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) on Dec. 3 that intends to be acquired by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (Kaiser). The proposal requires approval of the insurance commissioner. That review, which is expected to be lengthy, will begin once the insurance commissioner receives a formal filing from the companies.

Kaiser is based in California and operates in several other states. It has more than 10 million policyholders nationwide.

This proposed deal is one that my office will examine closely when we see the formal filing. Our examination process will look closely at how this proposal could affect the overall stability of the health insurance market in Washington, including competition and consumer choice.

My chief concern is protecting consumers in Washington, including policyholders at Group Health and all consumers buying health insurance in Washington. I want to ensure that we maintain the healthy competition and wide selection of plans we currently have in our state.

At this time, I expect no changes in policies for current enrollees in Group Health plans or those considering enrolling in plans for 2016.

# # #

Release No. 15-49