New insurers have been approved to sell coverage to participate in the state’s insurance exchange
The Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner has announced the approval of some 136 individual health insurance plans that will be sold through the state’s insurance exchange. The plans come from 12 insurance companies, which had requested for rate increases of 5.4%. State regulators have approved an increase in premiums of 4.2% for these insurers, however. Consumers will be able to purchase these plans during the exchange’s upcoming open enrollment period, which begins in November of this year.
Growing competition may provide consumers with inexpensive health insurance coverage
Several insurers have been approved to sell coverage in Washington, which may increase the competition in the state’s market. This competition could have an impact of insurance premiums, as insurers fight for the favor of consumers by offering them inexpensive coverage. Insurers are showing more interest in Washington’s exchange, as it has proven to be an attractive market. Exchanges throughout the country have enabled millions of consumers to acquire insurance coverage, which has lead to higher profits for insurers.
Consumers can find new coverage policies during the open enrollment period
Among the companies that have been approved to sell policies through the state’s exchange are Columbia United Providers, Moda Health Plan, Premera Blue Cross, and Regence BlueShield. These insurers will begin offering coverage for 2016 during the exchange’s open enrollment period. During the enrollment period, consumers will be able to enroll for coverage. Some consumers may also be eligible for subsidies that will help reduce the cost of health insurance coverage.
Insurers see that health insurance exchanges are favorable markets
Insurers had limited experience with exchanges when they were first launched. As such, many expressed concerns that the exchanges would not provide insurers with a valuable market. Now, however, insurers have seen that these exchanges are profitable markets and more are seeking approval to participate in these exchanges. The growing number of insurers participating in exchanges may provide consumers with more options concerning the coverage they need.