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Life Health > Health Insurance > Health Insurance

Wash. state exchange menu may grow

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The Washington state individual health insurance market could offer more public exchange options than traditional market options in 2015.

Officials at the Washington state insurance commissioner’s office say 12 insurers have applied to sell individual coverage through the Washington Health Planfinder exchange next year, and 10 have applied to sell coverage outside the exchange.

This year, eight carriers are selling individual policies through the exchange and nine outside the exchange.

One major addition to the state’s exchange menu could be UnitedHealthcare of Washington Inc., a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH).

UnitedHealth has been selling coverage through only a few public exchanges this year. Executives recently said the company might sell through more exchanges next year.

Moda Health Plan Inc., a health insurer started by the Oregon Dental Association that has been operating in Washington state’s off-exchange market, has applied to sell individual coverage through the exchange.

Moda has also applied to sell small-group coverage through the public exchange Small Business Options Program.

This year, the only carrier in Washington state’s SHOP market has been a Kaiser affiliate, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest. Kaiser has sold coverage only in Clark County and Cowlitz County.

The Kaiser affiliate has applied to return to the state’s SHOP market next year.

Washington state is not yet giving any information about the counties insurers want to serve or the rates the insurers want to charge.

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