‘Obamacare’ individual policy rates for 2021 mostly hold steady

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By: Mike Dennison

Two of the three companies that write health insurance for some 50,000 Montanans buying “Obamacare” individual policies will keep their average rates at zero or near zero for 2021, state Auditor Matt Rosendale announced Monday.

Rosendale, a Republican who’s running for the U.S. House, said the two companies – Mountain Health Co-op and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana – reduced their initially proposed rates after he told them the increases were “unacceptable.”

“At a time when insurance companies are seeing profit increases in the Obamacare markets and when we’re seeing such under-utilization of elective health care during the Covid-19 pandemic, that hospitals have had to furlough hundreds of employees, I told the insurers they need to do better.”…

Blue Cross’s average rate increase for 2021 policies will be zero and Mountain Health Co-op will see an average rate increase of 0.68 percent, Rosendale’s office said. The two companies write about 80 percent of the policies…

Premiums for the 2020 policies had declined from the previous year because the 2019 Montana Legislature enacted a reinsurance program that helps cover expensive claims in the individual market.

Rosendale proposed and supported the 2019 reinsurance bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick, R-Great Falls.

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