Washington State: *Approved* avg. 2021 #ACA premiums: -3.2%
Way back in June, the Washington Insurance Dept. posted the state's preliminary 2021 preliminary individual & small group market premium rate filings. At the time, the weighted average across all carriers was a 1.8% drop in individual market premiums and a 3.4% increase in small group rates. They also announced the addition of two new carriers to the individual market: Community Health Network and UnitedHealthcare of Oregon. It's important to note that both of these new carriers will only be providing WA's new (quasi) Public Option plans.
Last month, however, the WA DOI announced the approved 2021 rates...for the individual market only, and even then it's missing two carriers which are still under review (Asuris and Health Alliance NW). The missing carriers only have 1,200 enrollees between them, however, so any changes to their requested rates won't move the needle noticeably:
Kreidler approves average rate decrease of 3.2% for Washington’s 2021 Exchange health insurers
Thirteen health insurers have been approved to sell health plans in Washington state’s 2021 Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder. This is the second consecutive year the average rate decreased by over 3%.
The Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board is scheduled to certify the approved plans at a meeting later today. Washington state’s Health Care Authority solicited bids for Cascade Care, the public options plans, and is working to sign contracts with the successful bidders.
Two insurers - Asuris Northwest Health and Health Alliance Northwest Health Plan - intend to sell only outside of the Exchange. Their plans and rates are still under review.
“These rate decreases are welcome news in an extremely difficult year,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “We know people are struggling economically and lower premiums will hopefully help. But just as we’re seeing our market stabilize, we face an even graver danger. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide the fate of Affordable Care Act (ACA) in November.
“Since he took office, we’ve watched President Trump chip away at the ACA and the critical protections millions depend on. He’s bragged that a better is plan is coming but he and his Republican Party never deliver. If he succeeds in getting the court to overturn the law, more than 12 million people nationwide and 600,000 in Washington state will lose their health insurance. The protection for pre-existing conditions will also vanish for everyone, no matter what the president says. Millions will face the COVID-19 pandemic with no health coverage. I really can’t imagine a more dire fate for our country.”