Thursday, August 28, 2014

90 health plans approved for next year's Exchange - find one in your area

Health plans and their rates for next year's Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder were approved by our office and certified by the Exchange board this week.

Consumers shopping inside the Exchange will have 10 companies and 90 plans to choose from, depending on where they live. Not all plans are available in every county, but most people will have more choices and minimal rate changes.

Additional insurers and plans for sale outside of the Exchange are still under review. There may be more plans for sale outside of the Exchange, but premium subsidies are not available.

Open enrollment for inside and outside of the Exchange starts Nov. 15 and runs through Feb. 15, 2015.

Check out the map below to see the 2015 plans and rates available in your county.


Map of Washington

ACA’s 80/20 rule saves consumers money

Created through the Affordable Care Act law, the 80/20 rule, also known as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule, requires health insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premium money on patient care and quality improvement activities or pay a rebate back to consumers.
This month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that since the rule took effect, more insurers year over year are meeting the 80/20 standard by spending more of the premium dollars they collect on patient care and quality, and not red tape and bonuses. If an insurer did not spend enough premium dollars on patient care and quality improvement, they must pay refunds to consumers in one of the following ways:
  • A refund check in the mail.
  • A lump-sum reimbursement to the same account that was used to pay the premium.
  • A reduction in future premiums.
If the consumer bought insurance through their employer, their employer must provide one of the above options, or apply the refund in another manner that benefits its employees, such as more generous benefits.
In 2013, 9,605 Washington consumers received refunds totaling $792,846, an average of $122 per family.
Read more about health care reform on our website. Questions? Contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.