Ride the Ducks crash victim to get help from state, college

 Phuong Dinh’s father, Hiep Dinh, prepares to take her back to her room after a news conference at the Keiro Northwest rehabilitation facility in Seattle on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)

Phuong Dinh’s father, Hiep Dinh, prepares to take her back to her room after a news conference at the Keiro Northwest rehabilitation facility in Seattle on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)

Seattle Times

December 4, 2015
By Lewis Kamb
Twitter @lewiskamb
lkamb@seattletimes.com

After news reports of foreign student Phuong Dinh’s slow recovery and soon-to-lapse medical coverage, state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and North Seattle College both say they’ll help her obtain ongoing insurance coverage.

An international student badly hurt when a Ride the Ducks tourist vehicle plowed into a bus on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge is now getting help to obtain a new, fully subsidized insurance plan that would cover her medical costs while she recovers from her injuries, state officials said Friday.

Responding to media reports about 18-year-old Phuong Dinh’s slow recovery and her soon-to-lapse student medical coverage, Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler this week personally contacted Dinh’s attorney to assist in finding her a private health-care plan through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

Meantime, North Seattle College, a state-funded community college from which Dinh is now on medical leave, announced it will cover private-insurance costs for Dinh and other crash victims should they lose their student coverage during prolonged medical leaves from the school.

“The college received legal counsel from the Attorney General’s Office that it can use gifted funds to cover the costs of monthly premiums and deductibles for students who face a loss of coverage,” college spokeswoman Melissa Mixon said in an email Friday. “The college will be reimbursed for these expenses by funds with the state dedicated to emergencies.”