Hearings scheduled on proposed insurance rate hikes

Kyle Schmauch In The News

By: Phil Drake

Three insurance providers have proposed rate increases for individual and small employer groups averaging from 4 percent to 23 percent, the commissioner of securities and insurance said Tuesday.

Commissioner Matt Rosendale announced two public hearings for later this month for the proposed 2018 rate changes, which will be finalized in mid-August following review by the state Auditor’s office.

The proposed rate changes will not affect most Montanans who have health insurance provided through their employer or a government program, Rosendale said. These are the three insurers in the individual market under the Affordable Care Act.

He said health insurance is already too expensive for many Montanans, and additional increases are unwelcome news. He said his office was reviewing the proposals to make sure they are justified.

“I am continuing to push for reforms at both the federal and state levels to lower the cost of health care and health insurance,” he said…

Under Montana law, the state Auditor’s office has authority to review insurance rates, but cannot deny rate increases unless they are unfairly discriminatory.

The state Auditor’s Office will hold two public meetings on the increases. The first will be 5:30 p.m. July 24 in Billings in Room 206 of the Montana State University Billings LA Building.

The second will be 1 p.m. July 26 in Room 137 of the state Capitol.
Montanans can also email comments on the proposed increases to CSIPublicComment@mt.gov through Aug. 1.|

Read more at the Great Falls Tribune