SEATTLE — Washington State’s health insurance exchange is looking to be an attractive marketplace for new health insurance carriers, according to an early analysis of insurer premium rate filings by McKinsey & Company.
Four new insurers have applied to sell individual policies in the state’s exchange next year, making Washington among the states with the highest number of new exchange entrants of the 12 states where preliminary 2015 rates have been filed, according to McKinsey. If insurance regulators approve the new carriers, Washington will have 12 insurers on the exchange in 2015, up from eight participating this year.
Washington’s not the only state attracting new health insurance business. Michigan also has four new exchange applicants, and five new carriers have applied in Indiana, the state so far with the highest number of new insurance carriers showing interest, according to the real-time tracking of state insurance department rate filings that McKinsey is doing.
“[There’s] definitely an increase in the competition that will be available in the carrier options to consumers,” said Erica Hutchins Coe, associate principal at McKinsey.
UnitedHealthcare of Washington, Health Alliance Northwest Health Plan, and Columbia United Providers are among the new insurance exchange applicants, according to Washington State’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
Hutchins Coe said McKinsey hasn’t drawn conclusions about what brought new carrier interest to the state. But Washington Healthplanfinder officials said the interest shows their exchange is working.