Kreidler approves 7 insurers, 13.8 percent rate average increase

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Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler approved seven health insurers to sell 40 health plans for 2019 in Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s health insurance exchange. The average approved rate increase for insurers that sell inside the Exchange is 13.8 percent. Plans will be available in all counties. Insurers initially requested a 19.8 percent rate increase.

“The fact that we’ve been able to lower some of the insurers’ rate requests after our review will be welcome news for consumers,” said Kreidler.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange board is scheduled to certify the approved plans at its Sept. 13 meeting.

“The individual market is still vulnerable and I recognize many people struggle to afford coverage – especially if they don’t receive a subsidy,” Kreidler said. “We’re doing what we can to hold down costs, but it’s a struggle. Insurers need stability and we’re still facing inaction at the federal level as well as targeted hits on the Affordable Care Act that increase the uncertainty.”

The remaining individual market plans–those sold outside the Exchange–are still under review by Kreidler’s office. Once all of the plans and rates are approved, Kreidler will release the average rate increase for the entire individual market and a list of insurers that will sell in each county.

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