Washington health insurance rates expected to see double-digit increases

seattle washington health insurance rates industry

In fact, the going prediction is that premiums could rise by over 13 percent on average across the state.

According to the state’s commissioner, Mike Kreidler, the Washington health insurance rates are slated to increase by an average of 13.5 percent and apparently this doesn’t come as a surprise to him.

There have already been thirteen health insurance companies that have filed their 2017 plans.

Those insurers are asking for an average 13.5 percent increase on Washington health insurance rates across a total of 154 individual plans for 2017. This figure was released by the state’s Office of the Insurance Commission. In a statement released by Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, he said that “The requested rate changes are not a surprise, as we expected insurers to make adjustments based on their earlier predictions compared to who actually signed up and what services they used.”

Kreidler added that it’s evident that some insurance companies had made their estimates more accurately than others. He did point out that “no one wants to see their rates go up,” and that his office will be conducting a careful review of each plan throughout upcoming months to ensure that any changes made to premiums will have been properly justified.

Every one of the proposed changes Washington health insurance rates, benefits and provider networks are being reviewed.

seattle washington health insurance rates industrySo far, the largest request for insurance rate hikes has come from Premera. That insurer is looking to increase the price paid for one of its exchange plans by 20 percent. Two statewide providers, Premera and Lifewise, have the intention to cease their marketing outside of the online marketplace and will be decreasing the number of counties in which their health plans will be available, said Kreidler’s office.

The commission does not hold the necessary authority to place a requirement on a health insurance provider for selling within a specific county, said its statement. Earlier in 2016, another insurer, UnitedHealthcare, said it intended to step out of the individual market in the state altogether in 2017. It was not the first. In January, Moda also left Washington. Both had previously been selling plans across the state.

Of the 13 insurers left in the state, nine intend to continue the sale of individual health plans on its exchange. All the insurers there have filed for changes to their Washington health insurance rates.

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