Insurance Commissioner approves 11 health insurers for individual plans - but rates are up

Saturday, October 28, 2017

According to state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, eleven health insurers are approved to sell 74 plans in Washington's 2018 individual health insurance market (PDF, 138 KB). The average premium increase this year has jumped to 36.4 percent due to President Trump's decision to stop funding the cost-sharing reduction assistance.

He reports that the president's decision increased rates by 10 percent on average in Washington state.

2018 Approved rate changes by insurer

Health insurerApproved average* rate change due to CSR funding endingApproved average* rate change if CSR funding is restored

Sold inside/outside Exchange
Asuris Northwest Health25.00%25.00%Outside
BridgeSpan Health Co.16.00%16.00%Outside
Coordinated Care Corp.45.85%30.03%Inside
Health Alliance11.76%11.76%Outside
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington23.26%15.53%Both
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest28.30%18.89%Both
LifeWise Health Plan of Washington33.73%26.20%Inside
Molina Healthcare of Washington61.25%45.53%Inside
Premera Blue Cross35.51%29.71%Inside
Regence BlueShield24.60%24.60%Outside
Regence BlueShield of Oregon23.30%23.30%Outside
Total approved average* change
*weighted by enrollment as of March 2017
"I'm very disheartened to have to approve these rates," said Kreidler  
"For months, we've struggled with the ongoing uncertainty at the federal level and have shared our concerns with our Congressional delegation and with the president's administration.  
"I warned of the harm their actions could inflict on real people and their families. The president's decision to stop making cost-sharing subsidy payments and weakening the enforcement of the individual mandate to buy health insurance are behind the surge in premiums we're seeing this year.  
"The other major cost driver is the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs -- something the administration promised to tackle, yet has failed to take on."

See insurers and their rates by county

Consumers who select a silver-level plan inside the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) will see an additional rate increase due to the end of cost-sharing reduction funding. However, they will still receive cost-sharing assistance if they income qualify, and any rate increase would be mitigated if they qualify for these subsidies or Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTCs). People who select a silver plan and do not qualify for subsidies will be hit the hardest by the president's decision.

Last year, approximately 110,000 people purchased silver plans through the Exchange.  More than 73,000 of them received subsidies.

More than 300,000 people in Washington - or about 5 percent of our state population - do not get health insurance from their employer and must buy a plan through the individual health insurance market. They can buy these plans through the Exchange or directly from an insurer. However, subsidies are only available through the Exchange.


Anonymous,  October 29, 2017 at 8:35 AM  

Trump voters, this is all on you.

Anonymous,  October 29, 2017 at 8:21 PM  

Ok so first make sure your retirement accounts aren't invested in insurance companies - and then lobby for medicare for all. Talk to Canadians - they are quite happy with their insurance. We could have medicare for all and people with $$ could buy additional "concierge" care - as they do now! And while we're at it, lets get "pay at the pump" car insurance!!

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