In at least one state, 2015 health insurance premium increases on the new public exchanges for individuals will be below rate increases experienced in recent years.
Washington State released proposed premium rates last week. The average proposed rate increase for individual health insurance policies offered inside and outside the state's exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder, is 8.25 percent. The average proposed rate increase for the eight insurers operating on the exchange is 5.4 percent.
The proposed premium rate increase for the state's entire individual market is the lowest requested rate hike in seven years, according to the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. And there will be more insurers offering health plans through Washington Healthplanfinder next year, with at least three new carriers vying to offer policies on the exchange.
"I'm pleased to see the health insurers show an increased interest in the individual market and to see rates come in relatively low," Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in a media statement last week. "Consumers certainly deserve more choices, but we will scrutinize the proposed rate changes very carefully."