2018 Health insurance rates requests up 22%

State officials say that health insurers have proposed rate changes for next year that have an average increase of about 22.3 percent.

The insurance commissioner’s office said Monday that 11 health insurers filed 71 health plans for the state’s individual and family health insurance market. In two counties – Klickitat and Grays Harbor – no health insurer filed plans. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler says he has been reaching out to insurers to see if one or more will reconsider offering plans in those two counties.

All rates, health plans, and coverage areas are under review by Kreidler’s office and may change before the plans are certified by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board on Sept. 14. Open enrollment for the 2018 individual market starts Nov. 1.

Reps Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement after insurance rate increase requests were filed in Washington State for 2018:

“Today, Washington State released its proposed plans and premiums for 2018, and Washingtonians are again facing higher health insurance costs and decreasing options in the individual marketplace – including zero plans in two counties. Proposed premium increases statewide reach as high as 38 percent. Despite state efforts to prop up this flawed, unstable law, it is clear that Obamacare is on an unsustainable path in our state. We refuse to allow this failed government-knows-best approach to healthcare to cause more damage, and are committed to working with our colleagues in Congress to ensure Washingtonians have access to the quality, affordable health insurance that they deserve.”

Earlier this month, eleven health insurers filed 71 plans for Washington State’s 2018 individual health insurance market, down from 13 insurers offering 154 plans in 2017. In two counties in Washington, Grays Harbor and Klickitat, no insurer filed individual plans for 2018. Chelan, Douglas will all have only a single insurer offering coverage plans on the exchange and two choices outside the exchange

Insurance rate increase requests for 2018 according to information provided by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner:

ASURIS NORTHWEST HEALTH is requesting a rate change of 31%.
BRIDGESPAN HEALTH COMPANY is requesting a rate change of 23%.
COORDINATED CARE CORPORATION is requesting a rate change of 29.3%.
HEALTH ALLIANCE NORTHWEST HEALTH PLAN is requesting a rate change of 14.6%.
KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN OF THE NORTHWEST is requesting a rate change of 12.91%.
KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN OF WASHINGTON is requesting a rate change of 12.9%.
LIFEWISE HEALTH PLAN OF WASHINGTON is requesting a rate change of *either 9.7% or 21.6%.
MOLINA HEALTHCARE OF WASHINGTON INC is requesting a rate change of 38.49%.
PREMERA BLUE CROSS is requesting a rate change of 27.7%.
REGENCE BLUESHIELD is requesting a rate change of 30%.
REGENCE BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD OF OREGON is requesting a rate change of 30.9%.

*Information provided by Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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