Health Law & Business News

Public Option Experiment Faces Obstacle as Premiums Don’t Drop

Aug. 10, 2020, 10:55 AM

Washington state’s pioneering experiment with so-called public option health insurance plans isn’t yielding a predicted drop in premiums.

Unfavorable Comparison: Five insurers in the state are offering 15 plans based on Medicare rates. But their average proposed public option premium for 2021 is 5% higher than 2020 average Obamacare premiums, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange’s policy director says.

Growing Pains: Other states weighing public option plans are monitoring Washington’s setback in its effort to curb health-care costs. But the situation is similar to what Washington experienced in its first year of overseeing an Obamacare marketplace in 2014, when insurers were...

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