January 31, 2017
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has set May 5, 2017, as the date that health insurers in Washington must file their proposed plans and rates for 2018.
“I want to reassure the insurance-buying public and insurers that I am committed to stability in our state’s market,” Kreidler said. “Insurers and consumers are understandably concerned about stability because of the uncertainty in Congress over changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and no viable replacement.
“Republican leaders and the President have said they intend to repeal and replace the ACA with something better. This must be done simultaneously. As long as their plan does not decrease the number of people covered, reduce benefits, or pass costs on to the state, I wish them well. The ACA is working well for Washingtonians. At this point, we have no idea if an alternative will or can be enacted.”
The May 5 deadline marks the formal start of Kreidler’s review of individual and small-group health plans and stand-alone dental plans for 2018. Kreidler’s office consulted with insurers and others to help determine the filing date.
“The ACA remains in effect and stability of the market should take priority over the unnecessary rush to put political considerations ahead of basic insurance principles,” said Kreidler. “The sooner insurers file plans, the quicker we can review them and have a viable market available for Washingtonians.”
Once plans and their rates are approved, Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange must certify them for sale on Washington Healthplanfinder (www.wahealthplanfinder.org).
Open enrollment for 2018 health plans begins Nov. 1.
About 750,000 more state residents now have health insurance since the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2010. Washington’s uninsured rate also has dropped from 14 percent to just under 6 percent in the same period.
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