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UPDATE: More information has been released by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. The Insurers in Washington have proposed an average premium increase of 22.3% for 2018 plans.

https://www.insurance.wa.gov/news/insurers-propose-223-percent-average-rate-change-2018-health-plans

Individual Plans Filed for 2018

Washington insurance carriers have filed 2018 plans with the Insurance Commissioner’s office.  Eleven carriers intend to make a total of 71 plans available next year.  Six of those insurers will offer plans on the Exchange (Washington Healthplan Finder), seven will only sell plans off the Exchange, and two will sell both on and off.

At this time, both Klickitat and Grays Harbor counties are without 2018 plan options—no insurer has filed any plans in either county.  This looks to effect over 3,000 current members.  Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler stated he will be reaching out to carriers to ask them to reconsider.

According to the list of filed plans on the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s website, Regence BlueShield will only be offering individual plans in Columbia, Walla Walla, and Yakima counties.  Bridgespan Health is also decreasing the counties they are participating in, down to Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, and Yakima.

In addition, Community Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington Options (specific PPO plan, available direct only) will not offer individual plans next year.

Considering this news, a few reminders:

  • It’s still early. Though the majority these decisions may indeed be finalized, it’s wise to wait and see what will be confirmed. Proposed rates for 2018 will be made public later this month, but plan rates and coverage areas are not final until the fall.
  • We’re eager to help. Working with an independent agent ensures you have access to all the plans available to you, however limited they may be.  VibrantUSA agents can help you understand your options and enroll in the right plan for you.
  • We will keep you informed. Stay tuned for ongoing updates throughout the summer as we near 2018’s enrollment period this fall.  Follow our Facebook page or check our blog for new information, and don’t hesitate to contact us for clarification when news breaks.

We appreciate our clients’ trust during times of uncertainty in the health insurance industry, and look forward to navigating the changing landscape together.  The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner has published a release with this information and is available here.

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