Insurers want to raise premiums by an average of 25% in the state
Health insurance companies in Idaho are seeking rate increases from state regulators. On average, these insurers are seeking an increase in premiums of 25%, which would go into effect in 2016. Insurers cite the growing cost of medical care and changes in the utilization of medical services as the justification for higher rates. Over the past year, medical costs have grown exponentially, which has lead to financial losses for health insurance companies doing business in the state.
Medical costs are pressuring insurers to raise rates
Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service has requested the most rate hikes for next year. The insurer wants to raise premiums by an average of 24% over what they are currently. For some people, premiums could increase by as much as 31% due to the type of policies they have. Last year, the company requested a rate increase of 15% as well. Medical costs are weighing on the insurer, especially as more policyholders begin to use their coverage to address their health issues.
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Insurers are paying more in claims than they collect in premiums
Many of the state’s insurers had reported that claims paid had outpaced premiums collected in 2014, which means that they have faced significant financial losses during that year. Regence BlueShield of Idaho collected an average of $281 in premiums from individual policies, but paid approximately $320 per member, per month in claims. SelectHealth Idaho had collected an average of $286 in premiums every month, but paid more than $500 per member, per month in claims.
Rate increases would affect 53,177 people in the state
Proposed rate hikes would apply to policies sold through the state’s health insurance exchange. An estimated 53,177 people would be affected if rate proposals are approved by Idaho regulators. A relatively small portion of consumers receive coverage through the state’s exchange, with most having employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. Idaho has made only modest efforts to bring people into the insurance exchange, and rate hikes may make the exchange less popular among consumers.