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Highmark seeks 33.6 percent rate increase for 2018

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The Delaware Department of Insurance sent out a notice this week that Highmark Blue Shield Blue Cross of Delaware requested a rate increase of 33.6 percent for 2018.

The request came as the insurance industry braces for the end of Affordable Care Act and the cost-sharing subsidies that come with it.

“Highmark’s proposed rate increase reflects the fact that the Federal Government could cut funding for the ACA by discontinuing cost-sharing reduction subsidies,” said Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “Cost-sharing reduction subsidies are passed on to insurers to assist lower-income individuals and families. In addition, it is unclear whether the ACA individual mandate will be enforced next year. If the federal government fails to live up to its obligations under the law, insurers will likely continue to exit the Marketplace.”

After Aetna dropped out of the ACA Marketplace in May, Highmark became the only insurer in the state offering an insurance product through the platform. The rate increase will only affect those buying insurance through the Marketplace.

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