The Idaho Department of Insurance has posted on its website, https://doi.idaho.gov/consumer/RateReview/, proposed health insurance premium rates and the requested increases for plans sold starting January of 2019. Health insurance carriers have submitted their rating information including explanations for the rate increases. The DOI will continue to review the insurance carriers’ submissions.The DOI has the authority to determine the rates “unreasonable” if the requests are not adequately justified. In past years, the DOI has successfully negotiated lower rate increases with carriers to avoid having them labeled “unreasonable.” Final rates will be publicly available around mid-September or early October.

Preliminary rate increase requests were obtained from five insurance companies: Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Mountain Health CO-OP, PacificSource Health Plans, Regence BlueShield of Idaho and SelectHealth. Among these, the average rate increase statewide is 6 percent for Bronze plans, 9 percent for Silver plans, 10 percent for Gold plans, 26 percent for catastrophic plans, and 8 percent overall.

“While the proposed rate increases are not nearly as extreme as some prior years, any increase to health insurance premiums make it that much more difficult to afford,” said DOI Bureau Chief Wes Trexler. “We are still reviewing these increases, and welcome examination and comments from the public.” Comments, questions, or ideas can be submitted electronically or mailed to the following: 2019 Rate Comments, Idaho Department of Insurance, PO Box 83720, Boise ID 83720-0043 or ratecomments@doi.idaho.gov.

The DOI encourages consumers to carefully review all of their options with a licensed insurance agent whether purchasing coverage on or off the exchange (Your Health Idaho) once the final rates are published.

For more information about this or other insurance-related topics, contact the Idaho Department of Insurance by visiting doi.idaho.gov or by calling (208) 334-4250 in the Boise area or toll-free at (800) 721-3272.

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