Individual health-insurance rates for 2018 in MT: Potentially small increases … or not

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By: Mike Dennison

Montana’s three private health insurers Tuesday said they plan to raise rates for 2018 policies in the individual market – and the increases could be minimal, or not, depending on how Congress and the White House influence health policy.

The Montana Health Cooperative and PacificSource submitted average rate increases of 4 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively, for polices that currently cover just over 35,000 people in the state.

However, both companies said those rates depend on Congress not making significant changes to the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana is proposing an average 23 percent increase for its Montana individual policies, covering about 31,000 people – but said its rates factor in potential ACA changes that could make the market more risky…

The companies filed their rates with the Montana state auditor’s office, which regulates insurance.

State Auditor Matt Rosendale said he’s reviewing the rates to make sure they are justified, but noted that he does not have authority to deny increases unless they are “unfairly discriminatory.”

Rosendale, a Republican, also said the ACA continues to “limit choice” of health insurance and drive up costs, and that he would push for reforms at the federal and state level.

Read more at KXLH