Washington health insurance rates to go up 4.2 percent

People who buy their health insurance on the Washington Healthplanfinder exchange can expect an average 4.2 percent increase in their rates in 2016.

The rate increases approved Thursday by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner are lower than the insurance companies had requested.

Insurance officials have approved 12 health insurance companies to sell 136 individual health plans on Washington Healthplanfider in 2016. The companies requested an average rate change of 5.4 percent.

Last year, 10 insurance companies were approved to sell 90 individual plans on the exchange. The insurance commissioner approved rate increases averaging 1.9 percent last year.

The board that runs the exchange is scheduled to vote on the rate changes at its meeting later on Thursday.