Health insurance premiums up slightly for '13

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island employers can expect, on average, a slight increase in health insurance premiums when they renew their plans for 2013. Those increases will range from one and a half percent to six percent. State insurance commissioner Christopher Koller says these increases are historically low.

"And the reason why these rates are lower than in previous years, these rate increases, is because health plans report lower rates of increase in utilization and in some cases absolute declines. So what is still going up is the price for each service," says Koller.

Koller says higher co-pays and deductibles part of why people are holding off on using their health care benefits. But Koller says premiums will continue to go up because the cost of health care services continues to rise. He says his office has been working with insurers and health care providers to manage those costs.

Here are the approved average expected premium increases:

2013 Small and Large Employer Average Expected Premium Increases

APPROVED for Small Employers:

BCBSRI: 1.65% (requested 4.15%)

Tufts: 5.3% (requested 6%)

United: 2.54% (requested 6.2%)

APPROVED for Large Employers:

BCBSRI: 3.98% (requested 5.88%)

Tufts: 4.5% (requested 6%)

United: 5.53% (requested 7.8%)

More information on premium rate increases is available from the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner

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