The Washington Health Benefit Exchange reports nine health plan issuers have filed with that state’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) to offer 57 Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) totaling 229 plan options for individuals and families through Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s new online health insurance marketplace.
Plan issuers however demonstrated less interest in participating in the exchange’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). SHOP plans will be offered in only some of the state’s counties beginning Oct. 1, 2013. In a news release, the exchange cited limited carrier participation that did not allow the Exchange to offer SHOP coverage options statewide. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest will offer SHOP coverage in a limited number of counties to be determined, according to the exchange.
“Like our individual market, the SHOP was prepared to be operationally ready on Oct. 1,” said Washington Healthplanfinder CEO Richard Onizuka. “Ultimately, insurers informed us their inability to participate was a resource issue,” Onizuka explained, adding that additional issuers have expressed interest in participating in the SHOP market starting October 2014.
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