Kaiser Permanente remains committed to providing care and coverage for all our members, including members who purchase coverage in the individual market. We recently filed proposed 2019 rates with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) for our Individual and Family plans. These rates reflect our efforts to continue to deliver high-quality health care for our members over the long term. They also reflect the impact of the elimination of the individual mandate penalty and expected market contraction. While these rates have not been finalized by the OIC, they may generate questions from current plan members.
Below are talking points to help our producer partners answer questions about what a rate increase will mean for our mutual clients.
- For the 2019 plan year, Kaiser Permanente Washington has requested an average rate increase of 29.8%.
- The average rate increase is not necessarily what an individual member will pay. A member’s age, location, choice of plan, and eligibility for federal subsidies all factor into the cost of their premium.
- Average rate adjustments do not take into consideration annual age-band changes that are based on member age as of January 1, 2019, or member age as of their effective date after January.
- The proposed rate increase is not related to Kaiser Permanente’s acquisition of Group Health. Washington state market factors, federal uncertainty and regulatory change, along with medical trends, risk adjustment, and provider contracting all play a role in the overall rates.
- Final rates are anticipated to be approved by the OIC in mid-to-late summer.
- In 2019, Kaiser Permanente Washington will continue providing individual market coverage in the same 19-county area we serve today. We will continue to offer coverage, both through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Healthplanfinder) and directly from Kaiser Permanente (off-exchange).
We have provided similar talking points for our sales staff and customer service teams. As rates are finalized in late summer, more information will be provided at our Producer Forums in September. Information about Producer Forum dates and locations can be found online.
In September we’ll also provide you with Individual and Family plan renewal information, before we send your clients information, so you can assist them with their 2019 plan choices.
If you have any questions about our Individual and Family plans, please contact a sales and service consultant at 1-800-474-1079.
All plans offered and underwritten by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington.