The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner released approved 2019 rates for seven of our individual carriers. Four carriers continue to be in review. The most-watched renewal rating has been Kaiser of WA, which asked for the largest increase of all the carriers (30%). Thankfully, this number has been clipped a bit, down to a 19% increase. Overall, at least 2019 increases will be significantly lower than our 2018 increases were.
Of the seven carriers whose rates have been approved, most were approved within a percentage point or two. The exceptions are Molina and Kaiser. Molina’s renewal request was cut by about 3.5%, while Kaiser Foundation Healthplan of WA received the largest cutback – from a 30% requested increase down to a 19% approved increase. Kaiser remains the leader of the pack with this increase, but hopefully this reduction will stave off a “run” on the plans. Before you say this is not justified, note that Kaiser showed a loss in 2017 of just over $50 million on their individual block of business.
The final increases approved:
We’re still waiting for final word on individual plan rate approvals for Asuris NW, Health Alliance NW, Regence BS of Oregon, and Regence BlueShield. There has been no indication from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner as to when these will be finalized.
These carriers have asked for the following increases, so we are expecting the final approved rates to be at or near these figures:
How 2019 Is Stacking Up
At this point, 2019 individual renewal increases are ranging from a low of 0.3% to 18.6%. This is far better than our 2018 rate increases which ranged from 11.8% to a whopping 61.3%. See our updated 2019 Individual Rate Tracking spreadsheet to see how 2019 is stacking up to 2018 and 2017.
We’ll let you know once the Insurance Commissioner’s office releases the final approval of these remaining four carriers!
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I love numbers. I'm a math geek. I read benefits industry articles and periodicals for relaxation (but, honestly, I'm still a fun gal). I also like to share what I've learned and you'll find it all here.