Exchange will offer 107 health plans in Kitsap

Kitsap residents using the state exchange to shop for health insurance for 2016 will have far more options this year.

Consumers in Kitsap will have their choice of 107 plans offered by six carriers when enrollment opens Sunday, according to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. That’s a big jump from the 67 available for 2015. 

The increase was largely due to two major carriers, Regence BlueShield and United Healthcare, entering the market for the first time. Regence and United will offer a combined 52 plans through Healthplanfinder.

Moda Health, which sold plans in all counties in 2015, has dropped out of the exchange. 

About 5,000 Kitsap residents were enrolled in qualified health plans purchased through Healthplanfinder in 2015. Another 42,000 were enrolled in the state’s expanded Medicaid program. (See a detailed enrollment report here.)

Statewide, 143 individual plans will be offered through the health exchange for 2016, and 67 will be available outside the exchange. Rates increased an average of 3.9 percent from 2015.

Local navigators are available to help consumers wade through the enrollment process, or determine whether they’re eligible for free health care. See the Kitsap Public Health District website for more information.

The district is holding a special enrollment event Saturday at Kitsap Mall.

Exchange plan enrollment is open from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31. Medicaid (Apple Health) enrollment is open all year.

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