Montana Insurance Commissioner ‘Shocked’ by Blue Cross Blue Shield Rate Request
It appears that individual market health insurance prices will be going up again next year, possibly way up. According to Montana Insurance and Exchange Commissioner Monica Lindeen, the rate requests for the three health insurance providers on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace are all asking for higher rates.
"Blue Cross Blue Shield requested an average rate change of 62%, Montana Health Co-op requested an average rate change of 22% and Pacific Source requested an average rate change of 19.8%," Lindeen said.
If you found that 62 percent rate hike by Blue Cross Blue Shield shocking, well, you aren’t alone, it was the highest that Lindeen could remember and possibly the highest insurance rate request hike in Montana history.
"I was just as shocked as you are, believe me, when I saw the rate filing," Lindeen said. "One of the things that I've decided to do, because I believe it's really in the public interest, because this is so unusual, is I'm going to hold a public hearing which will be on the 26th of July. It will start at 9:00 A.M. in the Hart Building here in Helena."
During the hearings, Lindeen says the health insurance companies will be asked to explain rising rates. Those that can’t make it to the hearings can leave comments at csi.mt.gov until August 5th.
It is important to note, that these are not final rates, only rate requests. It is possible that the final rates drop after negotiations.