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Health exchange rates in Washington state jump more than 36 percent

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state’s insurance commissioner says that 10 percent of the average premium increase that customers of the state’s individual health insurance market will see is due to President Donald Trump’s decision to stop paying federal subsidies to insurers.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said Thursday that in total, the average premium increase this year will jump more than 36 percent.

The rate announcement comes a day after a U.S. judge in California rejected a request from 18 states — including Washington — and the District of Columbia to force the Trump administration to resume paying “Obamacare” subsidies right away.

Consumers who qualify for tax credits to help pay their silver premiums will still receive them.

“I’m very disheartened to have to approve these rates,” Kreidler said in a statement. “For months, we’ve struggled with the ongoing uncertainty at the federal level and have shared our concerns with our Congressional delegation and with the president’s administration.”

Eleven health insurers are approved to sell 74 plans in Washington’s individual health insurance market next year. Open enrollment for the state exchange begins Wednesday and ends Jan. 15.