Insurance Update

As a follow-up to our last post on changes in the individual and small group health insurance markets, the Commissioners are very excited to share this news that is hot off the press. Following her outreach, the Superintendent received communication this morning from the Senior Network Executive at Premera Blue Cross (parent of LifeWise) expressing the company’s commitment to work together to ensure residents of San Juan County experience minimal disruption with the changes taking place in January 2020.

We now know that the new LifeWise network specific to Individual exchange plans will include ALL San Juan County providers who are currently contracted with Premera. The network will also include the UW Medicine Lopez and Orcas Island Clinics as an in-network provider.

There is more good news!

While the new LifeWise specialty network is slightly more narrow than their traditional Premera network, an exception was made to enable patients receiving care from the UW Medicine Lopez or Orcas Island Clinics to be referred into UW Medicine for specialty or hospital care, and be handled as in-network. This is very positive and will allow for improved continuity and coordination for patients needing higher levels of care.

As far as the rest of the network, Providence/St Joseph, Swedish, PeaceHealth, Seattle Children’s and Skagit Regional Hospital will all be in-network for LifeWise. Those facilities that will not be in the new LifeWise network are some of the larger hospital systems and providers, primarily in King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties. They include: Multicare, Virginia Mason, Overlake Hospital, The Everett Clinic, Evergreen Hospital, UW Medicine (except for patients receiving care from the UW Medicine Lopez or Orcas Island Clinics) and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

We are awaiting more details on the Medicare offerings and will share information as it becomes available. As always, please feel free to contact the Superintendent at with questions or concerns. You can also provide feedback directly on the website by visiting the form on the Community Engagement tab.