Lower rates have been approved for the Washington health insurance market, and it includes a nearly 6% average drop for local residents.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler announced this week that he has approved rates for Washington’s 2020 individual health insurance market, and it is a record low average rate decrease.
While statewide the rate drop is -3.25%, the local rates will fall 5.99% on average.
The announcement also comes with an update that two new health insurers – PacificSource Health Plans and Providence Health Plan – have joined the marketplace.
Neither option will be available for Grays Harbor and Pacific County, who remain tied to Premera Blue Cross through Washington Healthplanfinder.
Kreidler said, “We have more work to do to lower the cost of health care and to help lower out-of-pocket costs, but more choice and lower premiums are welcome news.”
|Requested average rate change||Approved average rate change||Sold inside/outside Exchange|
|Asuris Northwest Health||-4.43%||-1.81%||Outside|
|BridgeSpan Health Company||-1.93%||2.55%||Both|
|Coordinated Care Corporation||10.16%||0.31%||Inside|
|Health Alliance Northwest Health Plan||0.93%||-5.41%||Outside|
|Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest||5.83%||5.25%||Both|
|Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington||0.40%||-4.33%||Both|
|LifeWise Health Plan of Washington||-5.89%||-4.01%||Both|
|Molina Healthcare of Washington||-6.97%||-9.15%||Inside|
|PacificSource Health Plans||New||New||Both|
|Premera Blue Cross||-7.26%||-5.99%||Inside|
|Providence Health Plan||New||New||Both|
|Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon||-5.57%||-2.70%||Outside|
|Total requested average* change
*based on weighted enrollment
The average rate may be dropping, but the amount a local resident would pay depends on the plan they choose, if they qualify for any financial help, where they live, their age, whether or not they smoke and how many family members are covered, and their family members’ age.
Approximately 241,000 people who don’t get coverage from their employer must buy their own health insurance through the individual market, with most shopping through the Exchange.
In Washington, 65% of people who buy Exchange plans qualify for subsidies that help lower their monthly premiums.
Open enrollment for the individual market runs Nov. 1 – Dec. 15. Consumers can shop for plans in Washington’s Exchange (www.wahealthplanfinder.org). Find 2020 individual plans and premiums.