About Mike Kreidler

Mike Kreidler is Washington’s eighth insurance commissioner. A former member of Congress, he was first elected as insurance commissioner in 2000. He was re-elected to a fourth term in 2012.

A doctor of optometry with a master's degree in public health, Kreidler practiced at Group Health Cooperative in Olympia for 20 years, with 16 of them shared with the Washington State Legislature. He served as a member of the Northwest Power Planning Council and as regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

He retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Army Reserves with 20 years of service.

He is a staunch advocate for consumer protection and as a fair and balanced regulator. He was honored in 2009 with the "Excellence in Consumer Advocacy Award," presented by consumer advisors to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

From the boardroom of his local school district to the state Legislature and halls of Congress, Kreidler has represented Washingtonians for more than 30 years.

A longtime advocate for state and federal health care reform

Throughout his career, Commissioner Kreidler has been passionate about achieving health care coverage for all Washingtonians and reforming the nation's health care system. Early on, he proposed a state plan for reform, called the Guaranteed Health Benefit Plan. He has been a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to implement it at the state level.

Commissioner Kreidler also worked with state lawmakers to close a waiting-period loophole that was endangering the lives of organ-transplant patients. He rejected a bid by one of the state's largest non-profit health insurers, Premera Blue Cross, to become a for-profit company.

A national voice on climate change

Since 2007, Commissioner Kreidler has chaired the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Climate Change and Global Warming Work Group. He led a successful push for insurers to disclose if and how they're preparing for the potential risks associated with climate change.

Other achievements:

  • Raising public awareness of the massive surpluses accumulated by some nonprofit health insurers.
  • Successfully advocating for changes in state law that allow public access to health insurance rate requests.
  • Cutting excessive auto- and homeowner-insurance rates by more than $310 million since 2001, as well as saving individuals more than $160 million in health insurance premiums.
  • Pushing for limits on the controversial practice of credit scoring.
  • Helping consumers recover $8 million to $10 million a year in denied and delayed insurance payments.
  • Restoring troubled insurers to financial solvency.
  • Regaining national accreditation for the office.
  • Successfully fighting attempts by big out-of-state insurance companies to strip consumers of their legal protections.

Updated 03/27/2014

See also

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