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Washington Restores Individual Health Rate Control

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The Evergreen State insurance commission has regained oversight over the price of individual medical coverage.

Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire, D, has signed E.S.B. 5261, a bill which will permit the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner authority over individual health plan rate changes scheduled to take effect on or after July 1, Washington officials say.

The Washington state commissioner lost oversight over rates in 2000.

Although the commissioner now can regulate rates, health insurers still can put the sickest applicants in a high-risk pool, impose a 9-month waiting period on coverage for pre-existing conditions, and replace products on 90 days’ notice, officials say.


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