Health insurance rates increase . . . again

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has approved 11 health insurers to sell 74 plans in Washington’s 2019 individual health insurance market. Health insurers requested a 19.44 percent average increase, but Kreidler’s office determined that only 13.57 percent was justified. All 39 counties in the state will have at least one Exchange insurer.

“I’m grateful increases are down from last year and that we’re seeing some moderation of rate changes, but I know these costs may be hard for many to afford — especially if they don’t qualify for subsidies,” said Kreidler. “Unfortunately, the Trump administration is focused on sowing uncertainty in the insurance markets and insurers are reacting. In addition, his administration and Congress have failed to address the underlying costs of health care in this country and until they do, individuals and businesses buying health insurance will be impacted.”

About 266,000 Washingtonians, about 4 percent of the state’s population, do not get employer or government-sponsored health insurance and must buy their own coverage. Individual health plans are available through the state Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder, or directly from an insurer. However, financial subsidies are only available through the Exchange.

Last year, 207,000 people enrolled through the Exchange, and approximately 60 percent of them received a subsidy. Open enrollment — for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2019 — starts Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15, 2018.

Click this Link for a list of insurers in your county

 

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Steve Hair
Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.