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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Washington Health Insurance Exchange - Rates Lower Than Expected

Recently, the Washington Health Insurance Exchange released proposed rates for exchange policies. Many experts say the proposed rates are lower than expected.

WA Health Insurance Exchange Plan Rates Announced

The Washington Health Insurance ExchangeWashington Healthplanfinder, will be Washington's online marketplace where individuals and small businesses can shop for health insurance plans and receive access to ACA tax subsidies and credits.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange recently released that nine health insurance issuers filed with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) to provide 57 Qualified Health Plans (QHPs), totaling 229 plan options for individuals and families through the state’s new online health insurance marketplace. 

“This is great news for residents in our state. The rates we’ve seen filed in the individual market will go a long way to help individuals and families get the right coverage at an affordable price,” said Richard Onizuka, Chief Executive Officer for Washington Healthplanfinder. Source: Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

According to the OIC, “Many people will see rates similar to what they’re paying now, or in some cases, lower — and with substantially better benefits.” Source: OIC.

Washington Health Insurance Exchange - Sample of Individual Plan Rates

According to the OIC, sample mid-range (Silver) individual plan premiums from three carriers include:

  • Bridgespan: $239/month for a 21-year old, $305/month for a 40-year old, and $648/month for a 60-year old.

  • Premera Blue Cross: $228/month for a 21-year old, $292/month for a 40-year old, and $620/month for a 60-year old.

  • Group Health Cooperative: $210/month for a 21-year-old, $268/month for a 40-year old, and $569/month for a 60-year-old.

These are gross premium rates before any applicable individual health insurance tax subsidies are applied. If eligible for the tax subsidies, the actual amount a person would pay would be reduced at the time of purchase. The tax subsidies are available for consumers with income four times the federal poverty line (making up to ~$45,900 for an individual and ~$94,200 for a family of four in 2013). For sample health insurance tax subsidy charts, see this article.

The full list of proposed Washington Health Insurance Exchange rates and plans can be viewed at OIC's website.