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AG reaches $1.2 million agreement in Novartis drug kickback investigation

Access Washington News - November 20, 2015 - 14:10

Company pressured pharmacies to downplay risk to patients


SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced Washington has reached an agreement in principle Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation’s kickback scheme to promote its drug, Exjade. The final agreement is pending execution by the company, and would provide Washington with $1.2 million in Medicaid reimbursement, which will be shared with the federal government.

Dorn Supports New McCleary Motion by Plaintiffs

Access Washington News - November 20, 2015 - 13:30
"The Sanctions the Court imposed in August did not get the State’s attention. It is time to force the Governor and Legislature to Act."

Construction Fair helps prepare cadets for future

Access Washington News - November 20, 2015 - 12:26
More than 150 cadets from the Washington Youth Academy took part in aconstruction career day on Nov. 19, joining thousands of students from across the region.

Anacortes refinery fined $77,000 for workplace violations following toxic release

Access Washington News - November 20, 2015 - 11:47

Shell Oil Products is facing $77,000 in fines from the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for workplace health violations after an investigation into an uncontrolled toxic release last February.

Boeing to study Kent facility for possible cleanup

Access Washington News - November 20, 2015 - 10:45
The Boeing Company would investigate potential contaminated soil and groundwater at its Kent Space Center under a proposed agreed order with the Washington Department of Ecology. Read more....

Statement of Attorney General Bob Ferguson on today's Washington State Supreme Court charter schools decision:

Access Washington News - November 19, 2015 - 18:01

“My job as Attorney General is to uphold the will of the voters.  That is why, throughout this process, I have defended the charter school initiative approved by the voters of Washington state.

“The Supreme Court’s opinion of September 4, 2015 in League of Women Voters of Wash. v. State was overbroad.

“Regardless of one’s opinion about charter schools, the original opinion endangered important programs such as Running Start, tribal compact schools, and vocational education. 

State State Awards Nearly $7 Million in Grants for Sports Fields and Facilities

Access Washington News - November 19, 2015 - 16:20
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board today awarded nearly $7 million in grants to build and improve sports fields and facilities around the state.

Hire only registered contractors to take down storm-damaged trees or do repairs

Access Washington News - November 19, 2015 - 16:18

Don't let downed trees get you down. Rushing to hire someone to cut down damaged trees and make home repairs after a storm can result in shoddy work or even getting scammed.

FEMA Public Assistance grants help Washington communities recover from wildfires

Access Washington News - November 19, 2015 - 16:09
Specialists from FEMA and Washington State Emergency Management Division are working closely with local and tribal officials to help Washington communities recover from this summer's devastating wildfires.

Closure from Hyak to Lost Lake Road due to washout.

Access Washington News - November 19, 2015 - 13:27
The Iron Horse Trail will be closed from Hyak to Lost Lake Road until close of business on Saturday, December 12, 2015 for trail grade restoration and fiber line repairs due to the storm on November 17, 2015.

Washington Army National Guard Prepares for Major Transformation

Access Washington News - November 19, 2015 - 12:28
The Washington Army National Guard is in the midst of a major transformation.

Cama Beach internet is down- Reservations cannot be processed at this time.

Access Washington News - November 19, 2015 - 11:42
Frontier is working on the problem and we are hoping that it will be up and running soon. We apologize for any inconveniences.

Environmental cleanup proposed for part of South Park Landfill site

Access Washington News - November 19, 2015 - 10:45
The city of Seattle, which owns part of the former South Park Landfill site, plans an interim environmental cleanup project as part of a proposed amendment to a legal agreement with the Washington Department of Ecology. Read more....

Fort Townsend State Park closed until further notice.

Access Washington News - November 19, 2015 - 09:38
Due to downed power lines and tree damage from the November 17th wind storm, Fort Townsend State Park will be closed until further notice.

Schafer State Park Is Open

Access Washington News - November 19, 2015 - 09:23
Schafer State Park was closed due to flooding and wind damage. The park in now open.

Columbia United Providers will notify enrollees about withdrawal from Washington market

Access Washington News - November 19, 2015 - 08:18

Columbia United Providers (CUP) this week informed the Office of the Insurance Commissioner that it is voluntarily withdrawing from the individual health insurance market.

The company, which is based in Vancouver, Wash., also said that it intends to sell its Medicaid business to Molina Healthcare. That proposal is subject to approval by the Insurance Commissioner.

Here are answers to some questions about CUP’s announcement:

Why did CUP voluntarily withdraw from Washington?
The company cited business reasons for the voluntary withdrawal.

How does CUP’s withdrawal affect the Washington health insurance market?
CUP offered individual plans in Clark County only. As of November 2015, CUP had fewer than 100 enrollees in the individual market. These plans were offered only through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. The company also managed insurance coverage for about 55,000 enrollees in Medicaid plans in Clark County. The Washington Health Care Authority (HCA) oversees Medicaid in Washington.

HCA is aware of CUP’s withdrawal from the Washington market and its proposal to sell its Medicaid business to Molina Healthcare.

How does this affect those who enrolled in Exchange plans?
The Health Benefit Exchange is aware of CUP’s withdrawal and proposed sale. The Exchange is reaching out to any enrollees who selected CUP for 2016 to assist them in choosing another plan. CUP 2015 enrollees will be covered through the end of the year and can select alternate coverage for 2016. Any CUP enrollee who wants to change coverage for the remainder of 2015 may request a special enrollment.

How will current enrollees be notified CUP’s decision?
The company is responsible for notifying, by Nov. 19, 2015, all individuals who have purchased individual coverage through CUP, to be effective on or after Jan. 1, 2016, that their coverage is terminated. The company’s plans will no longer be listed on the Washington Healthplanfinder.

Even with CUP’s voluntary withdrawal, Washington remains a competitive market with a wide selection of choices. There are five companies that sell individual plans in Clark County. Overall in Washington, there are 14 insurers and more than 200 plans available for consumers for coverage in 2016.

Will existing claims be paid?
Washington state insurance law requires that all claims be paid and that company make plans for payment. At this time there is no concern about the company paying existing claims for enrollees in its Washington plans.