Health Insurance Companies Seek Rate Hikes Up to 40 Percent in DC

WASHINGTON — Insurance companies offering individual health care plans in D.C. want to increase premiums from 13 percent to nearly 40 percent on average.

Four major insurance companies have submitted health insurance plans rate for 2018 to the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking for review.

This will be the fifth year of open enrollment on DC Health Link, the District’s health insurance marketplace under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and Untied Healthcare filed rate requests for individuals, families and small business plans.

A total of 184 plans were filed, up from 171 last year. The vast majority of them are small group plans, with 26 individual plan requests submitted.

In the individual market, CareFirst has proposed an average rate increase of 39.6 percent for HMO plans and 19.7 percent for PPO plans. Kaiser proposed an average increase of 13 percent.

For small group plans, CareFirst is requesting an average increase of 9.5 percent for HMO plans and 15.3 percent for PPO plans. Kaiser small group rates show an average rate increase of 5 percent.

Aetna filed for an average group rate increase of 7.38 percent for PPO plans and 9.38 percent for HMO plans. United Healthcare is seeking an average increase for its small group plans of 9.5 percent for its PPO and HMO plans.

“As the insurance regulator for the District of Columbia, it is our duty to ensure residents and small businesses are provided rates that are fair and adhere to District law,” said Commissioner Stephen Taylor.

“The rate review process allows us to work with our insurance companies and to evaluate their proposals so that the District’s insurance rates are adequate and not excessive or unfairly discriminatory,” Taylor said in a statement.

Insurance companies submitted rate increase requests for individual health plans in Maryland of up to 59 percent in the past week.

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