Open enrollment begins, some health premiums drop

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By: Katheryn Houghton

Enrollment season has begun for those who pick their own health plans, and for the first time in the Affordable Care Act’s existence, the 51,000 Montanans who buy health coverage through the individual market could see lower rates…

All three of Montana’s health insurers are offering lower premiums for individual plans that could save people anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

That bucks the trend of the rising prices Montanans have seen since the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014.

The companies and state officials attribute most of the change to a new program that removes some of the risk insurers face.

State lawmakers approved the Montana Reinsurance Program this year that creates a pool of money to help cover high-cost claims…

The Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance estimates people on the individual market will save a total of $51 million in 2020 compared to the year before. Commissioner Matt Rosendale said it’s a start, but more has to be done to reduce the price people pay for care.

Richard Miltenberger, president of Montana Health CO-OP, echoed that.

Read more from the Bozeman Chronicle