WSHA comments on Geographic Rating Areas Rule

January 17, 2018

The Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) is in the process of revising rules regarding the geographic rating areas used for premiums for the small group and individual health insurance markets. The goal is to increase the numbers of insurer options in counties while maintaining affordable rates for consumers. Currently several counties have only a single coverage option under the current rules.

On December 21, the OIC released a stakeholder draft rule, which expands the number of rating areas from the current five to nine regions. The proposal would also provide greater premium flexibility for insurers that offer coverage in all counties in at least six of the nine regions. WSHA generally supported the OIC proposal in its comment letter and testimony at a recent stakeholder meeting. At the meeting, some insurers recommended OIC expand further the number of rating regions and allow additional premium flexibility.

The final rule should be in place by April 1, 2018. (Andrew Busz,


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