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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Insurers seek big rate hikes for exchange plans in 2016

Health insurance companies offering plans on Idaho’s state insurance exchange are proposing big increases in premiums for 2016, the AP reports, citing increased medical costs and changes in utilization over the past year. Among them: Blue Cross of Idaho is proposing average increases of nearly 24 percent, with some plans showing rate hikes as high as 31 percent for individual policies; last year, Blue Cross had average rate increases for individual policies of about 15 percent, reports AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi.

Montana Health Cooperative is requesting average increases of 25 percent; SelectHealth is seeking average rate increases of just under 15 percent. Kruesi reports that the companies say they paid out more in claims than they collected in premiums in 2014. For example, Regence BlueShield of Idaho collected on average $281 from an individual premium, but paid an estimated $320 in claims per member per month. SelectHealth Idaho saw an average of $286 in premiums and paid out an average of $508 in claims per month.

The proposed rate increases are under review by the Idaho state Department of Insurance; they can’t take effect without the department’s approval. You can read Kruesi’s full report here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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