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State Regulator Seeks Control Over Individual Health Rates

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Washington State Insurance Commissioner Myron Kreidler says he will be asking lawmakers to restore the commissioner’s authority to regulate individual health insurance rates.

Since Washington deregulated individual rates in 2000 in an effort to revive the individual health markets, rate increases have averaged 16% per year, and some enrollees have seen rate increases of 40%, Kreidler says.

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Insurers have attributed some of the increase to a new mental health parity law.

Kreidler contends that the parity law has increased benefits costs less than 4%.