Eleven health insurers have been approved to sell 74 health-care plans in Washington State—and they come with an average premium increase of 36.4 percent, according to the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC), the agency responsible for overseeing the local health insurance industry and educating people about insurance.
The increase is due to President Trump's order to demolish federal health-care subsidies for low-income people, according to a statement today from the OIC. The decision increased rates by 10 percent on average in Washington.
"The president's decision to stop making cost-sharing subsidy payments and weakening the enforcement of the individual mandate to buy health insurance are behind the surge in premiums we're seeing this year," said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler in a statement. "The other major cost driver is the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs—something the administration promised to tackle, yet has failed to take on."
People who select a silver plan from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange could see rate increases, but could also receive assistance that would cancel out the increases if they are low-income. "People who select a silver plan and do not qualify for subsidies will be hit the hardest by the president's decision," the OIC statement notes.