Eleven insurers approved to sell 74 plans in Washington’s 2019 individual market
Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has approved 11 health insurers to sell 74 plans in Washington’s 2019 individual health insurance market. Health insurers requested a 19.44 percent average increase, but Kreidler’s office determined that only 13.57 percent was justified. All 39 counties in the state will have at least one Exchange insurer.
“I’m grateful increases are down from last year and that we’re seeing some moderation of rate changes, but I know these costs may be hard for many to afford — especially if they don’t qualify for subsidies,” said Kreidler. “Unfortunately, the Trump administration is focused on sowing uncertainty in the insurance markets and insurers are reacting. In addition, his administration and Congress have failed to address the underlying costs of health care in this country and until they do, individuals and businesses buying health insurance will be impacted.”
About 266,000 Washingtonians — about 4 percent of our state population — do not get employer or government-sponsored health insurance and must buy their own coverage. Individual health plans are available through the state Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder, or directly from an insurer. However, financial subsidies are only available through the Exchange.
Last year, 207,000 people enrolled through the Exchange, and approximately 60 percent of them received a subsidy. Open enrollment — for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2019 — starts Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15, 2018.
“Consumers needing individual health insurance should take advantage of open enrollment to double-check their options this year,” said Kreidler. “There may be additional coverage choices, depending on where you live. Getting an early start is also a good idea, as the upcoming enrollment period is shorter than in previous years.“
This press release was provided by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of Washington State.