Health Insurers Seek Rate Hikes for 2014

Apr 17, 2013

Rhode Island health insurers have filed their requests for increases in premium rates next year. Some small businesses and individuals could see some significant hikes.

Small businesses could see their plan rates drop as much as 20 percent or spike as much as 40 percent. But the average Blue Cross increase is expected to be about 15 percent. Tufts asked for about 13 percent.

They and other insurers are busy designing new health plans that can be sold through Rhode Island’s online marketplace this October. And they’re also updating old plans to comply with new rules taking effect under the Affordable Care Act.

But Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island filed paperwork with the state saying just a small percentage of the rate increases it’s requesting are driven by Obamacare. Most of the increases, it says, can be chalked up to rising health care costs.

Now the state’s health insurance commissioner reviews those requests. He can suggest changes before approving anything.

You can read the insurers' rate filings on the web site of the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner.