AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Individual-policy market in jeopardy as carriers' losses mount
For the second year in a row, major health insurers in Washington state have lost millions of dollars on individual health-care policies.
And with fewer people buying such policies, the carriers are crying that the individual market is in crisis. They warn that if the Legislature fails to make necessary policy changes, that market may tumble into a death spiral.
It's also possible that if nothing is done to staunch their losses, insurers simply may stop selling individual policies. The board of Group Health Cooperative and Group Health Northwest has authorized management" to quit the individual market," said Henry Berman, president of Group Health Northwest in Spokane.
"Over the last three years, we have gone from many years of breaking even to substantial losses" on individual coverage, he said. As of year-end 1996, losses from such coverage total $23 million.
Rep. Phil Dyer, the Issaquah Republican who chairs the House …