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Exchange Director Praises Insurers for Offering Broad Choice of Health Coverage Products

Friday, July 19, 2013
Individuals, families and small businesses will have 300+ options and lower premiums than initially proposed.
The Executive Director of the District’s new online health insurance marketplace – DC Health Link – praised today’s announcement that Kaiser Permanente and United HealthCare both reduced their rates – this is a second reduction of proposed rates by United. Kaiser reduced their rates and added additional products to offer through DC Health Link. In addition to approving proposed rates, the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) approved 301 health insurance policies for sale to individual consumers and small businesses through DC Health Link.
"It is exciting to see that insurance companies in the District are already aggressively competing for business through the online marketplace,” said Mila Kofman, J.D., executive director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority. “Our approach shows that fair and transparent standards lead to real private market competition based on price and quality. Individual and small business purchasers will have affordable options and over 300 products to choose from when buying coverage though DC Health Link. Insurance Commissioner White and his team at DISB performed a Herculean task in reviewing over 300 products and rates in a short period of time. I appreciate their commitment, reallocation of resources, and making full implementation one of their top priorities."
Kofman also applauded the decision by Kaiser Permanente to reduce some of their proposed rates and to offer more choices of products. Kaiser filed and was approved to sell additional health insurance policies through DC Health Link. United HealthCare lowered some of their proposed rates for the second time. In the six weeks since insurers submitted their proposed rates to DISB, three have reduced prices. Four major insurers – Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente and United HealthCare – will offer coverage at a variety of premium levels. DC Health Link will open for enrollment in October. Coverage will be effective January 1, 2014, for most people who enroll during open enrollment.