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Health rate increase breaks from years of steeper hikes

June 3, 2019

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state insurance commissioner says average individual health insurance rates will rise by just under 1% on average in 2020, with some companies dropping rates.

The projection, announced in a release Monday, marks a break from years of steeper increases, including a projected 19% increase statewide in 2019. Over the five years prior, benchmark entry-level premiums rose on average 55%, with some rural counties seeing increases of more than 80%, according to separate Kaiser Foundation data.

No single insurer serves all 39 Washington counties. Instead, companies cover overlapping groups of counties, with their combined rates making up the statewide average.

Coordinated Care Corporation, with the second-widest coverage area of any insurer on the Washington health exchange, plans a roughly 10% increase, but Lifewise will expand to 33 counties, the broadest area of any insurer on the exchange, and drop rates by nearly 6%, according to Monday’s release.

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