Higher rates approved by state’s insurance regulators
Rhode Island Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Hittner has announced that rate proposals from the state’s health insurance companies have been approved for 2015. Insurers are seeking rate increases in order to balance out the losses that they incur from the cost of medical care. Many people have purchased insurance coverage over the past several months and are beginning to visit doctors and receive treatment for their conditions. In order to recover from the costs of these treatments, as well as other financial issues that exist in the insurance industry, insurers are raising rates.
Most rate increases are well below the 10% threshold
Most insurers are seeking single-digit rate increases. Blue Cross & Blue Shield, the state’s largest insurance provider, will be raising rates by an average of 4.5% for individual plans and 7% for group plans. On average, individual plans are likely to see an increase from $289 a month to $328 a month, though rate increases differ from one insurance company to the next. For plans offered through the state’s insurance exchange, rates are also likely to grow, but only by a modest margin.
UnitedHealth Group to sell policies through the state exchange for the first time beginning in 2015
Rhode Island residents will also have more options when it comes to insurance coverage in the coming year. UnitedHealth Group, the country’s largest health insurance provider, will be selling policies in Rhode Island for the first time in 2015. These policies will be available through the state’s insurance exchange. The exchange is set to begin an open enrollment period in November this year. The policies sold through the exchange will become active on January 1, 2015.
Medical costs are making it difficult for insurers to keep rates down
Rising health insurance rates often attract criticism from consumers. State regulators have been working to ensure that rate increases remain well below 10% in an effort to mitigate the financial burden that rate increases represent. The rising costs of medical care, however, are making it difficult for a financial balance to be maintained within the insurance industry.