Proposed health insurance rate changes now available

Rosendale announces public meetings

Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Matt Rosendale made proposed 2018 individual and small employer group health insurance rate changes available to the public last week. There will be two public meetings on the proposed rate increases, and Montanans are invited to make their voices heard by submitting public comment. The first public meeting will be in Billings on Monday, July 24 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 206 of the Montana State University Billings LA Building.
Under Montana law, the State Auditor’s office has the authority to review insurance rates, but does not have the power to deny rate increases unless they are unfairly discriminatory. The proposed rate changes announced today will not affect most Montanans who have health insurance provided through their employer or a government program. 
“Health insurance is already too expensive for many Montanans, and additional increases are certainly unwelcome news for families struggling to make ends meet,” Rosendale said. “My office is reviewing the proposed rate changes to make sure they are justified, and I am continuing to push for reforms at both the federal and state levels to lower the cost of health care and health insurance. Montanans deserve better than the current policies like Obamacare that reduce access to health care, limit choices, and drive up costs.”
In the individual market, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana is requesting an average increase of 23.1 percent. Blue Cross currently insures about 32,000 Montanans in the individual market.
The Montana Health CO-OP is requesting an average increase of 4 percent in the individual market. The CO-OP insures about 20,000 Montanans in the individual market.
PacificSource is requesting an average increase of 7.4 percent and insures approximately 12,000 Montanans in the individual market.
Blue Cross is requesting an average increase of 6.7 percent for small group plans covering about 36,000 Montanans. PacificSource is requesting an average increase of 6.4 percent for small group plans covering about 13,000 Montanans. The Montana Health CO-OP is requesting a 2 percent average increase for small group plans covering about 240 Montanans, and UnitedHealthcare is requesting an average 6.7 percent increase for small group plans covering less than 150 Montanans.
Montanans can also email their comments on proposed 2018 rate changes to CSIPublicComment@mt.gov through Aug.1.

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