COLORADO PREMIUMS CONTINUE TO RISE


Coloradans shopping for health insurance in the individual market could see substantial rate hikes averaging 27 percent next year.

Health insurance company's in the state have asked for increases ranging from 12 to 41 percent for individual medical plans.

Employer, small group medical plans, have remained stable with smaller increases ranging from 3 to 27 percent.

Roughly 7 percent of Colorado residents, or about 450,000 people, buy individual health plans. Last year, rates rose around 20 percent in the individual health market with rural areas hit the hardest.

Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, has blamed the Affordable Care Act for increases in premiums. Marguerite Salazar, Colorado's insurance commissioner, believes the indecision in Washington, D.C. is making insurers nervous and driving up premiums.

Cigna Health has proposed the highest increase at 41 percent. Colorado's insurance commissioner says, “We sit down, we look at what they’ve filed, their justification for stating that they need 41 percent, where are they going to be, all of those things.” “And if we decide that they've got to come down, then we will sit down and have a negotiation.”

Insurance rates for 2018 will be finalized in the fall. In past years, rates have usually gone down from the original proposals.

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