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Highmark requests 5.7% rate increase for ACA health plans

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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware requested a proposed 5.7 percent rate increase for its 2019 Affordable Care Act marketplace business.

The request goes through the Delaware Department of Insurance, which reviews and seeks public comment on the proposed rate.

“While I am pleased to see that Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware’s initial filing is significantly lower than in previous years, this increase comes on top of an already expensive product for thousands of families,” said Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro.

In 2017, Highmark sought a whopping 33.6% insurance rate increase due to the uncertainty of continued federal cost-sharing subsidies. Navarro and his team ultimately approved a 25 percent increase following months of review.

That same year, Aetna backed out of the state marketplace, leaving Highmark the sole provider on the exchange.

A total of 20,000 Delawareans rely on health insurance bought through the ACA marketplace. The first public meeting will be held July 30 at 841 Silver Lake Boulevard in Dover. Representatives from Highmark and the Department of Insurance will attend.

“As Insurance Commissioner, I will continue to protect the interests of Delaware consumers,” Navarro said. “The DOI and its team of independent actuaries will evaluate Highmark BCBSD’s proposed rate increase before a final rate is approved.”

Commissioner Navarro is seeking comments from Delaware’s insurance consumers here.

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