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OLYMPIA — Starting Oct. 1, Washington Healthplanfinder will offer some state residents coverage options with lower insurance premiums to go along with increased benefits.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange learned this week that nine health insurance issuers have filed with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) to provide 57 Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) totaling 229 plan options for individuals and families through Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s new online health insurance marketplace.

“This is great news for residents in our state. The rates we’ve seen filed in the individual market will go a long way to help individuals and families get the right coverage at an affordable price,” said Richard Onizuka, chief executive officer. read more »


OLYMPIA — The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has issued its initial draft rules for the state’s emerging recreational marijuana market. Voters approved legal marijuana for recreational use with the passage of Initiative 502 in November. The WSLCB is seeking public comment on its initial draft rules before initiating the formal draft rule-making process in mid-June. The WSLCB will accept public comment on its initial draft through June 10.

The initial draft rules, posted May 16 on the agency’s website and issued to more than 4,700 subscribers on its I-502 email listserv, reflect the agency’s initial thinking on what Washington’s emerging system of producing, processing and retailing recreational marijuana may look like. read more »

AWB Commentary

Even some of its strongest supporters now say that the federal Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is going to be a train wreck. The question is, what are we going to do about it?

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, cost estimates for Obamacare’s new entitlements — the Medicaid expansion and exchange subsidies — have doubled since it was signed into law in 2010.

The CBO originally estimated the cost at $898 billion from 2010 to 2019, but this estimate included only six years of spending, since most of the provisions didn’t take effect until 2014. read more »


Olympic Surgical Associates has relocated their medical practice to Gig Harbor Business Park, 5800 Soundview Dr., Suite A-101. The office will be open for patients starting May 1.

Dr. Derek Boyden and Nancy Boyden, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, may be reached at 253-858-2408.


InHealth Imaging in Poulsbo has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). MRI is a noninvasive medical test that utilizes magnetic fields to produce anatomical images of internal body parts to help physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

“There are very few centers that have earned this designation and we are very proud of the quality that we are delivering to our patients,” said Dr. Manfred Henne, board-certified radiologist and operator of InHealth Imaging. “We have worked diligently to qualify for this designation and are gratified that ACR has acknowledged our accomplishments with the MRI gold seal designation.” read more »


Peninsula Cancer Center was awarded a three-year accreditation in radiation oncology in April as a result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). After passing this stringent evaluation, Peninsula Cancer Center received the ACR seal of approval for displaying the highest level of quality care and patient safety.

According to the ACR, only four other facilities have been awarded this distinction in Washington state.

The ACR is the nation’s oldest and most widely accepted radiation oncology accrediting body, with nearly 500 accredited sites and 25 years of accreditation experience. In order to earn accreditation, Peninsula Cancer Center had to meet several strict standards and qualifications developed by the ACR, based on a peer-review evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. read more »


The Washington Policy Center’s Health Care and Small Business conference events will be held June 27 in in SeaTac. In WPC’s first-ever dual conference event, speakers will address the current state of health care reform and Washington’s small business climate.

In the morning, panels of health care experts and policymakers will discuss the upcoming implementation of Obamacare. A keynote lunch address by Forbes health care writer and MSNBC and Fox News analyst Avik Roy will address free-market solutions to the country’s health care crisis.

In the afternoon during the statewide small business conference portion, business experts will speak to Washington’s business climate and how health care will impact small businesses. read more »


Washington, D.C. - A report released by the national health consumer organization Families USA says that in 2014, nearly 598,000 Washingtonians will be eligible for premium tax credits that will help them pay for health coverage — a doorway to quality health care for individuals and families of all ages and of all racial and ethnic backgrounds across the state.

The report includes county-by-county data, which reveal how many Washington families in different income brackets (ranging as high as $94,200 for a family of four) will soon be protected from having to spend more than a set percentage of their income for health coverage. read more »


The public is invited to a program on May 4 that will provide information on the effects of the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as ObamaCare) on health care provided in doctors’ offices, emergency rooms and hospitals.

The event is sponsored by Organizing for Action, a 501c (4) group of Kitsap and Key Peninsula residents, including physicians, nurses and concerned citizens.

The speaker will be Michelle Vest, who is a consultant with CareSync Consulting, LLC, and owner of West Coast Consulting Group. Both organizations work with health care professionals at all levels to plan and implement health care reform. There will be time for the public to ask questions after the presentation. read more »

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