In order for a company to sell insurance policies in WA state or the US, they must have permission from the states they wish to do business in. In WA, the Insurance Commissioner is Mike Kreidler. If a company wishes to sell or change policies or other business practices, they have to notify the appropriate Insurance Commission.

   WA Insurance Commissioner announces 13 companies seeking rate hikes.

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner announced this week that 13 health insurance companies have requested rate hikes that when averaged together come to 11.3 percent.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said his department will examine the requests and ask the companies to justify why they are asking for the increases. Although auto insurance is 'different' from health, we do know those rates are increasing mainly due to inflation and new state and Federal auto safety laws.

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According to Kreidler, the companies asking for hikes include (along with the number of WA customers and the percentage of increase):

  •  Asuris NW Health  994 customers  15.8%
  • Bridgespan Health Company  544 customers  20.3%
  • Coordinated Care Corporation 83,378 customers  12.1%
  • Community Health Plan of WA   23,598 customers 4.5%
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest   7,232 customers 6.4%
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington  46,466 customers  7.9%
  • LifeWise Health Plan of Washington  26.659 customers  8%
  • Molina Healthcare of Washington, Inc.  41.454 customers  7.5%
  • Premera Blue Cross   10,943 customers  14.9%
  • Providence Health Plan   246 customers   9.3%
  • Regence BlueShield   23,368   23.8%
  • Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon  8.397 customers 16.8%
  • UnitedHealthcare of Oregon, Inc.    6,207 customers  23.6%

The total number of affected customers would be 284,287. According to many healthcare providers in WA state including hospitals, some of the reasons why healthcare costs in WA keep rising is due to government underfunding of public healthcare plans, rising costs of medicine and materials, consolidation of healthcare plans, and a steadily aging population that has more people living longer.

As is with auto insurance, inflation has greatly impacted rates as well.

Officials also say regulations and government-related costs in WA are a factor.

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Gallery Credit: Liz Barrett Foster