WA Health Plans Approved, See Record Low 1.9% Rate Change

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner (WAOIC)

Press Release

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner has approved 10 health insurers to sell 90 individual health plans inside Washington’s Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder next year. The overall approved average rate change is just 1.9 percent, significantly lower than the Exchange insurers’ original request of 8.6 percent.

Also, Kaiser Health Plan of the Northwest (Kaiser) and Moda Health Plan, Inc. (Moda) have been approved to sell 23 health plans inside the Washington Healthplanfinder Business, formerly known as SHOP. Kaiser enrollees will receive an average rate decrease of 3.7 percent and Moda is new to the market and will be available statewide. Kaiser is available only in Clark and Cowlitz counties.

The Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange Board is scheduled to certify the approved insurers and their plans at its Aug. 28 board meeting.

“I take the increased interest from health insurers this year as a clear sign that health reform is working,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Consumers will have two more insurers to choose from next year, nearly double the number of health plans, and a record low rate change.”

Last year, eight health insurers were approved to sell 46 plans in the Exchange.

Five health insurers (Asuris, Group Health Options, Regence Blue Shield, Regence Blue Shield of Oregon, and Time) applied to sell coverage only outside of the Exchange. Health Alliance Northwest Health Plan, Inc. applied to sell only inside the Exchange and United Healthcare of Washington, Inc. applied to sell both inside and outside of the Exchange. All of these insurers’ plans and rates are still under review.

The average rate change for the entire individual market will be revised once the approval process is complete.

Approved average rate change for Exchange plans (as of Aug. 27, 2014)

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“I’m very proud of how we’ve implemented health reform in Washington state,” said Kreidler. “It hasn’t always been easy, but these numbers show that the Affordable Care Act clearly delivered on its promise to bring people better access to affordable, quality health insurance.”