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Health insurance rate increase approved for individual plans - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Health insurance rate increase approved for individual plans

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The Colorado Division of Insurance and Department of Regulatory Agencies officially approved individual and small group health insurance plans for 2018, with an average premium increase of 26.7 percent and 6.6 percent respectively.

That increase does not apply to insurance plans through employers.

Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar said in a statement that a measure to stabilize the health insurance market in 2018 must be passed  by the end of this month.

"The immediate need is for our Congressional partners to take actions that stabilize the market and sweep away the uncertainty pushing up rates and making companies skittish," Salazar said.

Colorado did not lose any insurers selling individual plans on the healthcare exchange in 2018 from 2017, but Salazar said a second consecutive year of 20 percent+ increases is troubling.

"Affordable health insurance is truly a non-partisan issue, and these rate increases keep me up at night," Salazar said.

Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner released a statement reacting to the rate increase Wednesday night, saying: 

“Our current healthcare system will continue to fail Coloradans if we don’t do something to address the rising costs created by the Affordable Care Act,” said Gardner. “This should not be ok. It should not be accepted as normal that just like previous years, healthcare insurance costs will continue to go up on thousands of Coloradans next year."

Colorado Democratic Senator Michael Bennet his own statement, which read:

“The Trump Administration should immediately provide long-term certainty for Cost Sharing Reduction payments to minimize the damage its threats and month-to-month approach have already caused," Bennet said. "As we discussed today in our first bipartisan hearing, we must work together to increase competition, transparency, and affordability to improve our entire health care system.”

There is financial assistance available to those who cannot afford the premium increases based on income, age and the cost of insurance where the person lives. CLICK HERE for more information about the tax credits.

In total, 17 insurance companies will offer individual or small group plans in Colorado in 2018. For 2018, the insurance companies offering individual plans through Colorado's healthcare exchange are:

  • Anthem (HMO Colorado)
  • Bright Health Insurance
  • Cigna Health and Life Insurance
  • Denver Health Medical Plan
  • Friday Health Plans (formerly known as Colorado Choice)
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado
  • Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization

Open enrollment for the plans will start on Nov. 1, 2017 and will end Jan. 12, 2018.

The individual market makes up more than 7 percent of the population who have health insurance, which is around 450,000 people. At least 51 percent of Coloradans get their insurance through an employer. 

CLICK HERE to view the premium increases by insurance company.

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