States Starting to See Premium Rate Increases

By Amy Gallagher, MBA
Vice President of Major Accounts
Cornerstone Group, a UBA Partner Firmhealth care costs

United Benefit Advisors is focused on premium rates nationwide and will be monitoring state decisions very carefully. This week we will look at Rhode Island.

As health insurers in states around the country start to announce hefty rate increases for 2014, Rhode Island is following suit with the rest. The state’s largest insurer, BCBS just filed big rate hikes for individuals and small groups.  But in Rhode Island, it’s up to the Health Insurance Commissioner to approve the rates. 

Rhode Island has a lot at stake, as it is an early adopter of the Health Benefits Exchange, planning to be open for January 1, 2014.  BCBSRI says it needs more premium to pump up weak reserve levels, and cites rising costs and concerns about healthcare reform fees and unknown risk entering the Health Exchanges as strong reason for requesting 18 percent rate increase for individual plans and 14.7 percent for small group plans. All but one of the BCBS plans will be offered on and off the Exchange. 

Will the insurance commissioner approve the rates? To learn what’s at stake, read more here.