Today, Pam MacEwan, CEO for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, issued the following statement regarding the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s announcement of 2018 health insurance plan rates proposed for Washington state:
“We at the Exchange were very concerned to see the proposed rates submitted to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) for the 2018 individual health insurance coverage year.
“Unfortunately, there remains significant federal uncertainty surrounding both cost-sharing reductions and enforcement of the individual mandate. The lack of clarity that continues to cloud these issues has contributed to the proposed increases to premium rates and potential carrier withdrawal from some rural Washington counties.
“Although more than 60 percent of customers in the Exchange are eligible for subsidies, a meaningful portion of the individual market will have to pay the full impact of these increases. In the end, it will be many of the most vulnerable in our state and their families who will bear the brunt of the blow.
“It is important to remember that today’s announcement reflects only those rates that are proposed. As we move forward, we will work with OIC leaders to find suitable solutions for our customers and those seeking 2018 coverage. We hope these efforts are complimented by additional action at the federal level and that we will soon be able to jointly ensure the continued stability of our state’s individual health insurance market.”