The Washington Health Exchange Board met Wednesday to certify the individual insurance plans that will be available on October 1.

What happened today? Consumers will have more choices, including a new Medicaid plan.

Molina was included as a Medicaid provider, which brings the total number of providers participating in the Exchange to seven.

Originally there were four approved by the insurance commissioners office. Since that time there have been three more added and there's still one pending that we hope to here about in the next day or so, said Margaret Stanley, the Exchange Board Chair.

The board also certified a small business plan and four pediatric dental plans. A number of dental plans are still pending.

In the end, the process was more arduous than the board expected, but better for consumers.

There's more consumer choice now in the Washington market inside the individual market for the exchange than we're had on the outside emarket before health care reform so this is a good deal, Mike Kriedler said. This is a real win for consumers. I'm very please with the action taken by the board today.

There are 35 plans that vary between bronze, silver and goal levels. Gold provides the highest coverage at the highest premium with bronze at the other end of the spectrum.

For those that qualify for subsidies, the actual cost of premiums will be lower than the sticker price, as many people have found out by contacting the new call center that opened in Spokane Tuesday.

The board has scheduled a conference call for early Friday morning and hopes to certify another Medicaid plan as well as three more dental plans.

Friday is the federal deadline.

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