Insurance Companies Raising Their Rates

SPOKANE — It may be time to sit down at your kitchen table and rework your budget again as four of the state’s largest health insurance companies plan on increasing rates this year.

Premera Blue Cross says customers will see a 6.1 percent increase while Lifewise Health Plan of Washington has also hiked rates 17.6 percent.

Group Health Cooperative and Regence Blue Shield also plan to raise rates, although the rate increases haven’t been made public yet by either company.

Each of these health insurance companies have seen their profits tumble along with the economy and that is part of the reason the rate hikes are coming.

If you get your health insurance through your employer you may not see these hikes as in recent years most of the double-digit rate increases have impacted individual health plans and not larger group plans used by many employers.

That doesn’t however mean employers won’t pass the cost on to you. When in doubt you should contact your human resources department to find out if your insurance premiums could be hit by rate hikes.