State regulators claim the cost of Pennsylvania health insurance premiums will be rise sharply next year for residents who purchase individual policies.
The state Department of Insurance stated on the day of Monday that Pennsylvania health insurance premiums company rates, deployed on requests for 2017, involve an average increase of 32.5% for individual plans and 7.1% for small group plans.
Officials stated that they pushed back previous year on rate increase requests but, “given challenges industries are facing” and failure of Washington to act on changes to the law, insurance company appeals for rate increases next year “were necessary to ensuring all Pennsylvania residents continued to have access to health plans through the federal exchange in the year of 2017.”
Commissioner Teresa Miller claimed that the Pennsylvania health insurance premiums increases were critical to keep insurers from abandoning the market entirely.
“We were attempting to make a one-time correction … we hopefully got these products to a place now where they are more rightly priced,” Miller stated.
The department said the rate increases apply just to about 10% of Pennsylvania residents who receive health insurance in the individual and small group markets and not to large employers or government policies like Medicare or Medicaid. Officials also said 3 out of 4 commonwealth households who purchased plans through the federal exchange previous year were eligible for subsidies to assist pay premiums.
Miller also declared that the department will seek to merge Pittsburgh-based health insurer Highmark Inc. in its lawsuit against the federal government over the year of 2014 losses over the Affordable Care Act that the company said totaled about $223 million.
The health insurer claimed that the government failed to follow its risk corridors program, in which it promised to pay few of the losses insurers sustained during the 1st years of the new law.
A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman, Jonathan Gold, stated that most Pennsylvania consumers will be capable to choose a plan for less than $75 a month.
“Headline rate changes do not depict what these consumers really pay because tax credits decrease the cost of coverage below the sticker price and shopping assists consumers to find the best deal,” Gold said.
And for the 60% of people with employer coverage, premiums have grown “at few of the slowest rates on record” since the health care law was enacted, he stated.
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