Mutuals ask for price increases

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OLYMPIA – Fourteen of the state’s major health insurance providers are asking Washington state regulators to approve a 7.16% average increase in health insurance premiums in Washington for 2023, according to a press release of the Office of the Washington State Insurance Commissioner.

The increases are requested for individual health insurance purchased on both the state health insurance exchange and off the exchange, not employer-provided health insurance plans. About 223,000 Washington residents pay for individual health care through the state’s exchange, which was established as part of the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed into law, according to the ICO. by then-President Barack Obama in 2010.

According to the release, the biggest increase is being sought by Utah-based BridgeSpan Health Company, which wants a rate increase of 16.10%. However, BridgeSpan Health does not provide insurance coverage to residents of Grant and Adams counties, according to the OCI.

In Grant and Adams counties, Coordinated Care Corporation — which also provides health care coverage under the state’s expanded Medicaid program — is asking regulators to approve a 1.23% drop in premiums billed on individual health insurance policies in 2023, according to the OCI, while LifeWise Health Plan of Washington is seeking a 12.51% increase in publicly traded plans (the company does not sell plans off-exchange) and Asuris Northwest Health is seeking a 10.93% increase in health insurance premiums (the company only offers off-exchange insurance plans).

For more information on obtaining individual health insurance coverage through the state exchange, visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org.

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