For first time, MT companies offering `Obamacare’ policies all proposing lower rates

csimt Uncategorized

By: Mike Dennison

For the first time under the federal health-care law known as “Obamacare,” all three companies selling health coverage in Montana’s individual market are proposing lower premiums for the coming year.

“This is a really big deal for the Montana Affordable Care Act market,” said John Doran of Montana Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “We’ve never had a regulatory opportunity to drive down premiums this far.”

Blue Cross, the Montana Health Co-op and PacificSource are proposing 2020 premiums for individual policies that will be, on average, 8 percent to 14 percent lower than 2019, depending on the company.

State Auditor Matt Rosendale, who regulates insurance, announced the proposed rates, which his office must review before they’re finalized later this year.

Rosendale…said part of the decrease is because of new state reinsurance program that he supported and was approved by the 2019 Legislature.

Insurers agreed, saying the reinsurance pool — which will pay for high-cost claims — accounts for half or more of the proposed rate decreases.

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