The Northwest Marine Trade Association can rack up two tremendous political victories this week, though they could be hardly more different in their nature. NMTA Director of Government affairs, and Northwest Yachting columnist, Peter Schrappen was instrumental in both.
The Marine Tourism Bill has taken four and a half years to pass the Washington House and Senate. Basically, it will allow out of state boaters additional time before having to pay Washington State taxes on their vessels. Despite mountains of support, it was a surprisingly long process to get the votes lined up to make this happen. It is expected to have an immediate impact on the Washington State economy as large yacht owners can now plan extended visits to Washington waters. It will, of course, have a great impact on marine businesses.
Many superyacht owners were fearful of visits from the tax man while here, and hopefully they’ll be encouraged to spend more time, and money, here.
The second legislative achievement will have an even greater benefit to the Washington marine industry. The NMTA and other similar organizations, who put together health insurance options for members and their families, had that work thrown into doubt by Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.
Here is the announcement by the Association of Qualified Association Health Plans:
The Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, the Building Industry
Association of Washington and the Northwest Marine Trade Association, together as the
Coalition of Qualified Associations Health Plans, wins major ruling against Insurance
Commissioner Mike Kreidler.
The Coalition of Qualified Association Health Plans (the Coalition) is pleased to report that an
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), on behalf of the Washington State Insurance Commissioner,
has issued summary judgment in favor of our member association health plans (AHPs) after a
lengthy dispute involving the Commissioner’s disapproval of the 2014 rate filings by the AHPs.
The Commissioner has 10 days to seek reconsideration.
Consistent with a similar ruling by a state trial court in 2007, the ALJ ruled that the rating
practices of the AHPs were consistent with federal and state law and that the Commissioner did
not have a proper basis for disapproving the 2014 rates.
Although the OIC may seek reconsideration, this is a big win for the small businesses and
working families that receive their high‐quality health care through qualified association health
plans like the AHPs. We hope that the Commissioner will honor the decision and expeditiously
approve the 2014 and 2015 rates.
As we have said throughout this process, the AHPs and other qualified association health plans
are a Washington State success story because they do the right thing in offering comprehensive
health care coverage options for the State’s small businesses and working families. We look
forward to continuing to offer this coverage with the support of the Commissioner and his staff.
We will keep you apprised of future developments.
To learn more about the Coalition, visit our
website at www.qualifiedahps.com