1844 Iron Street Bellingham, WA.

Aug 29

Updated Info on Health Plan Companies

Dear Valued Client:

We have had many requests to provide an update to our previous email regarding Individual/Family health insurance options for 2018.

As mentioned earlier (see below), Regence Blue Shield will not offer any plans except in Clark and Cowlitz counties.  Kaiser Permanente will only offer their HMO plans; their PPO plans will no longer be available.

Late yesterday LifeWise and Premera Blue Cross announced the following:

Lifewise –  In 2018, LifeWise Health Plan of Washington will offer EPO plans in 20 counties. Compared with 2017, LifeWise will exit the following counties: Grays Harbor, Island, King, Klickitat, Pierce, Skamania, and Snohomish. (Please note: county exits do not affect customers with LifeWise Grandfathered plans.)

Premera Blue Cross –  In 2018, will offer two types of plans in Washington: Premera Preferred (EPO) Plans and Premera PersonalCare Plans.

  1. PersonalCare Plans
    1. Plans are available in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.
    2. Customers get coordinated care from a primary care doctor within a local network of providers called a Partner System. They can choose a primary care doctor to best meet their needs.
  2. Preferred (EPO) Plans
    1. Plans are available in Adams, Asotin, Benton, Clallam, Columbia, Cowlitz, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Okanogan, Pacific, Spokane, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom, and Whitman counties.
    2. Customers get access to a broad network of doctors and hospitals, and they get a lower copay if they select a primary care provider (some exceptions). Care outside of the plan’s network is not covered, except for emergencies.

These changes do not affect group medical or Medicare coverages – ONLY INDIVIDUAL and FAMILY PLANS. We hope to have 2018 plan rates and benefits available sometime in October.  We will continue to keep you updated and look forward to working with you in November.  You cannot make any changes until Open Enrollment which starts November 1.

Thank you for your continued business.

Todd M Smith, LUTCF