WA: Proposed QHPs double for 2016 Exchange

SEATAC — At the May 21st meeting of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange’s Board of Directors, Deputy Insurance Commissioner Molly Nollette told members that there are 188 proposed plans awaiting approval for inclusion in the Exchange marketplace. While not all of these plans will be approved, the total number more than doubles the 90 approved plans for 2015. This increase comes with three new carriers on the exchange, United Healthcare, Regence BlueShield and Health Alliance Northwest.

The increase led several Board members to raise concerns over the potential for customer confusion when shopping on the exchange. Insurance Commissioner Kreidler chimed in to call it an “embarrassment of riches” and that Insurance Commissioners from other states were envious of the response from carriers Washington has received. Exchange and OIC were unsure if this represents a significant upward trend, or whether the market will adjust itself over the years.

Proposed rates were also revealed. The range spans Community Health Plan of Washington’s $414 to Coordinated Care’s $228. These rates are also preliminary and subject to OIC approval.