Grays Harbor will not be uninsured in 2018

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued a statement following the announcement last week that Grays Harbor may not have individual health insurance options in in 2018.

“Following repeated discussions, I am pleased that Premera Blue Cross has decided to offer two individual health plans to consumers in Grays Harbor County in 2018. This is welcome news for that community.

Kreidler announced that the plans will be offered through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, and residents who qualify will be able to receive subsidies to help pay premiums.

Despite the Premera coverage in Grays Harbor, Kreidler said that Klickitat County currently does not have options for 2018, but that he remains optimistic.

“Grays Harbor and Klickitat counties initially did not have any proposed plans for next year when insurers filed proposals with my office on June 7. I immediately contacted insurers, urging them to reconsider their plans for 2018.

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.

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.

Kreidler announced that his office is reviewing all rate proposals for 2018, and that rates and coverage areas may change as no final decisions will be made until early fall.

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