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Should increases in health insurance rates be limited to the rate of inflation?

Posted 12/16/12

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island recently filed a revised rate hike request for its small and large group employer health insurance plans. The requests some after R.I. Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher F. Koller sliced the company’s earlier requests significantly.

Blue Cross cited more recent medical trends than had been used for the previous requests, leading to a 5.1 percent rate hike request for small group employers and 9.1 percent for large group employers.

The health insurance commissioner has been trimming back the rate requests from all the health insurers, pointing to the increasing difficulty that employers have in paying for employee health care plans. Is it time for the commissioner to put hard limits on the yearly rate increases?

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