HB 1669

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Reported by House Committee On:

Health Care & Wellness

Title: An act relating to continuity of health care coverage.

Brief Description: Establishing a task force on continuity of health coverage and care.

Sponsors: Representatives Riccelli, Harris, Cody, Tharinger, Van De Wege, Jinkins, Sawyer, Moeller and S. Hunt.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Health Care & Wellness: 2/11/15, 2/18/15 [DPS].

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Establishes the Task Force on Continuity of Coverage and Care.

  • Requires the Office of Financial Management to contract for a study of the affordability and availability of health care coverage in Washington.


Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 8 members: Representatives Cody, Chair; Riccelli, Vice Chair; Clibborn, Jinkins, Moeller, Robinson, Tharinger and Van De Wege.

Minority Report: Without recommendation. Signed by 4 members: Representatives Schmick, Ranking Minority Member; DeBolt, Johnson and Rodne.

Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 3 members: Representatives Harris, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Caldier and Short.

Staff: Jim Morishima (786-7191).


Health care coverage for individuals can come from a variety of sources. For example:

Based on factors like employment status or income, individuals may lose eligibility for their sources of coverage, gain eligibility for new coverage, or voluntarily switch coverage.


Summary of Substitute Bill:

The Task Force on Continuity of Health Coverage and Care is established (Task Force). The Governor must appoint members to the Task Force representing:

The Task Force will select its chair from among its membership. The Governor must convene the first meeting of the Task Force.

The Task Force must review and analyze data and identify options and strategies regarding:

Meetings of the Task Force are open to the public and must provide opportunities for public comment. Staff support for the Task Force must be provided by the Office of Financial Management.

The Task Force must report its preliminary findings and recommendations to the Governor and the appropriate committees of the Legislature by December 1, 2015, and a final report by December 1, 2016. The Task Force expires on June 30, 2017.

The Office of Financial Management must contract for a study of the affordability and availability of health care coverage in Washington. The study must evaluate:

The Office of Financial Management must submit the results of the study to the Governor, the Legislature, and the Task Force by March 1, 2016.

Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill:

The substitute bill:


Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date of Substitute Bill: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) Everyone deserves the security of health care. Five years ago, the health care landscape was completely different—preexisting condition exclusions, no exchange, no premium subsidies, and limited Medicaid eligibility. The number of uninsured and uncompensated care at hospitals have decreased. Although improvements have been made, many people still go without coverage. There are many unanswered questions. For example, the transition in and out of different types of coverage, also known as "churn," is still not fully understood. It is also unknown how many people can afford the coverage for which they are eligible. How the individual mandate affects decision making is also unclear. This bill will help the state study health care coverage and help residents get and maintain coverage. This is a critical step in evaluating health care reform. This bill will help the state get better data and make strategic decisions in increasing access to care.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: Representative Riccelli, prime sponsor; Sybill Hyppolite, SEIU 1199NW; Chelene Whiteaker, Washington State Hospital Association; and Sean Graham, Washington State Medical Association.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.