Health insurance rates increase for 2013

Feb 15, 2013

Rhode Islanders’ health insurance rates will be rising again in 2013. One reason is an unexpected dip in actual medical costs.

Rhode Island’s health insurance commissioner recently approved rate increases for Blue Cross Blue Shield and Tufts. For Blue Cross, those increases will be an average of about 3.7% for small group plans and 7.9% for large groups. The state’s biggest insurer had initially applied for a much lower increase. But Blue Cross vice president of legal services Monica Neronha says that was based on what they paid out for members in 2011.

“What we now know is that 2011 was a historically low year in terms of claims and utilization.”

She says 2012 picked back up again, significantly, which led the insurer to ask for an adjustment. The state’s insurance commissioner said yes but will require the insurer to offer at least one affordable plan.