Local residents gain new state healthcare provider in 2021

Local residents could gain an additional healthcare provider through the state as residents look at a possible rate decrease .

Fifteen health insurers filed an average proposed rate decrease of 1.79% for the 2021 individual health insurance market.

 This includes two new insurers — UnitedHealthcare of Oregon and Community Health Network of Washington — that are joining Washington’s market. 

For Grays Harbor and Pacific County, the sole healthcare provider for 2020, Premera Blue Cross, looks to be joined by Regence BlueShield as an option through the state exchange.

With 15 insurers in next year’s individual market, all 39 counties will have at least two insurers selling plans inside the exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder. Ten insurers will sell plans outside of the exchange. 

The proposed average rate decrease follows an average premium reduction of 3.25% for 2019 plans. 

“Washington embraced the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and we’re seeing the continuing benefits today as we face the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Despite ongoing attacks from the Trump administration, the ACA’s reforms have helped create reliable access to quality health insurance for individuals and their families and a stable marketplace where insurers want to do business.”

Kreidler’s office will review all proposed health plans and rate changes over the next several months, with final decisions coming in the fall. Health insurers may adjust their requested rates and offerings as they re-evaluate their projections based on the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

These are the first filings under Washington’s new Cascade Care, which includes standardized plan designs and the country’s first public option health plan program. The state Health Care Authority is in charge of running the procurement for public option plans and will release information later this month. 

Approximately 282,000 people who don’t get coverage from their employer must buy their own health insurance through the individual market, with most shopping on the exchange. Approximately 19,500 people enrolled during a special enrollment period from March 10 through May 8 that the Washington Health Benefit Exchange launched in response to the pandemic.

In Washington, 65% of people who buy plans on the Exchange qualify for subsidies that help lower their monthly premiums.

The Washington state Legislature enacted Cascade Care last year, creating new coverage options that will be available through the exchange during open enrollment starting Nov. 1 for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2021.

See the proposed 2021 health insurers and plans by county. (PDF, 154.21 KB)


Health insurer Proposed rate change Inside/outside exchange 
Asuris Northwest Health -5.92% Outside exchange
BridgeSpan Health Company 0.03% Both
Community Health Network of Washington New Inside exchange
Coordinated Care Corporation 2.10% Inside exchange
Health Alliance Northwest Health Plan 7.42% Outside exchange
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest -1.93% Both
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington -4.87% Both
LifeWise Health Plan of Washington 3.44% Both
Molina Healthcare of Washington 0.27% Inside exchange
PacificSource Health Plans 3.54% Both
Premera Blue Cross -8.99% Inside exchange
Providence Health Plan 2.99% Both
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon -4.71% Both
Regence BlueShield -2.71% Both
UnitedHealthcare of Oregon New Inside exchange
Total requested average* change

*based on weighted enrollment