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Proposed health insurance rate hikes average in the double digits

WXXI - While NY state regulators have not yet signed off on what kinds of increases health insurance companies will be allowed to charge next year, many of those those insurers are asking for double-digit rate hikes.

According to the New York State Department of Financial Services, insurance companies who offer products in the small group market are proposing an average 16.5% increase, and those who offer individual policies are looking for an 18.7% increase.

Among HMO’s who have a lot of subscribers locally, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield is proposing an increase for its small group plans of 12.9% and a hike of 14% for its individual plans.

In its filing with the state, Excellus says that factors such as the cost of health care services, equipment and rising drug prices are among the reasons for the proposed rate increases.

MVP Health Care is proposing an increase of 13.6% for small group plans, and 19.2% increase in the individual plans.

MVP issued a statement saying that that the proposed rate changes are due to a variety of factors, including inflation in health care prices, increased price of specialty pharmaceutical drugs and an anticipated increase in the utilization of more complex and costly health care services.

It is common for the state to reduce the amount of the rate hikes that insurance companies are asking for, and how much you will actually pay for health insurance is often influenced by how much your employer is able to subsidize the coverage if you normally receive those medical benefits.

A public comment period through the state continues until July 14. The state usually releases its final determination on insurance rates in August.