, October 25, 2010

Washington's largest health insurers imposed rate hikes on individual plans this year on the heels of continuous annual increases, and after company reserves grew and executive salaries mostly increased, a review of state documents has found.

Federal health-care reforms are expected to help consumers with more affordable coverage, but not until 2014.

Regence BlueShield, which dominates the state's individual market with 132,000 members, instituted a 16.4 percent hike this year, the fourth year in a row of double-digit increases. It meant the company's individual premiums have swelled cumulatively by 91 percent since 2007.

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