Health Insurance Marke story
Eleven health insurers have been approved to sell 74 plans in
individual health insurance market (PDF, 138 KB), according
to a statement issued a few days ago
from Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's office and yesterday the
Health Exchange opened for business for individuals who want to buy
the good news. The bad news is, "The average premium increase this year
has jumped to 36.4 percent due to President Trump's
decision to stop
funding the cost-sharing reduction assistance," said the commissioner's
Trump's decision increased rates by 10 percent on average in Washington
very disheartened to have to approve these rates," said Insurance
Kreidler. "For months, we've struggled with the ongoing
at the federal level and have shared
our concerns with our Congressional delegation and with the president's
administration. I warned of the harm their actions
could inflict on
real people and their families. The president's decision to stop making
cost-sharing subsidy payments and weakening the enforcement of the
mandate to buy health insurance are behind the surge in
seeing this year. The other major cost driver is the skyrocketing costs
prescription drugs -- something the administration promised
to tackle, yet
has failed to take on."
insurers and their rates by county
who select a silver-level plan inside the Washington Health Benefit
(Exchange) will see an additional rate increase due to the end of
they will still receive cost-sharing assistance if
income qualify, and any rate increase would
be mitigated if they
qualify for these subsidies or Advanced Premium
Tax Credits (APTCs).
People who select a silver plan and do not qualify for subsidies will
the hardest by the president's decision.
year, approximately 110,000 people purchased silver
plans through the
Exchange (www.wahealthplanfinder.org). More
than 73,000 of them received subsidies.
than 300,000 people in Washington - or about 5
percent of our state
population - do not get health insurance from their employer and must
plan through the individual health insurance market. They can
plans through the Exchange or directly from an insurer. However,
only available through the Exchange.
this year, Kreidler instructed insurers to file two sets of rates for
silver-level plans - one assuming the federal government would continue
funding cost-sharing reduction subsidies and
one, if the funding
stopped. Both sets of rates were approved.
President Trump issued his Executive Order, insurers were allowed to
the higher set of rates. If Congress restores the funding at
any time in
2018, insurers must revert to the lower set of rates and
consumers will be
plans sold only outside the Exchange, as well as
bronze and gold
plans, have rate changes but are not impacted by the president's action.
addition to the president's actions on cost-sharing reduction
subsidies and the weakened enforcement of the individual
major factors behind this year's rate increases include the increased
both medical services and prescription drugs, as well as the
of the federal health insurance providers tax.
the Affordable Care Act, insurers are required to pay a tax to
the law. Congress placed a moratorium on its collection during
required insurers to pay it in 2018.
Trump calls the cost-sharing reduction assistance a bailout
but this only demonstrates his shallow understanding of health
the law he is charged with enforcing," added Kreidler. "These
subsidies help thousands of people in Washington and millions across
country afford coverage. Cutting off the funding only hurts
struggle to afford and keep their coverage. His decision
by Congress will make it hard for many
people to bear these
costs. I fear that many will go uninsured. I
urge Congress to
join Sens. Alexander and Murray in working
bipartisan solution (www.CBO.gov).
People's lives are
depending on it."
president also shortened this year's o open
enrollment period by several weeks. Open enrollment starts Nov. 1 and
2018 Approved rate changes by insurer