Aetna, CareFirst, Kaiser, UnitedHealth interested in D.C. exchange

As insurers continue to submit plans to sell on states' health insurance exchanges, the Washington, D.C. online marketplace boasted that four major companies intend to operate on its exchange.

The insurers, Aetna, CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealth, applied to sell a combined total of 34 policies through the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange for individuals and almost 260 plans for small groups, LifeHealthPro reported.

"This shows that insurance companies serving the District's insurance consumers are committed to offering good options for businesses and people here," Mila Kofman, the executive director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange, said in a statement. "As a result, we will have a strong, competitive market where individuals and small businesses will have a wide variety of options when buying high-quality health insurance."

But despite Kofman and other exchange officials who praised insurers' submittals as evidence of a thriving marketplace, it's still unclear how many plans will actually be available to consumers. What's more, the insurers didn't include premium and other cost information for the policies, so they might not even pass rate reviews or comply with certain exchange standards, reported the Washington Business Journal.

Insurers are required to file rates for these plans by the end of the month.

To learn more:
- here's the DC Health Benefit Exchange statement
- read the LifeHealthPro article
- see the Washington Business Journal article

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