Highmark, Aetna Request Substantial Health Insurance Rate Increases for 2017

Highmark, Aetna Request Substantial Health Insurance Rate Increases for 2017

Commissioner Stewart Announces Public Information Sessions

Dover, DE – Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart announced today that she has received rate request filings from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, Aetna, Inc. and Aetna Life for individual and small group plans to be offered on Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace in 2017. Highmark is asking for a 32.5% increase in the individual market, while Aetna, Inc. requests 25.0% and Aetna Life 23.9%. In the small group market, Highmark seeks a 2.7% increase, Aetna, Inc. asks for 23.2%, and Aetna Life requests 18.6%.

“These large rate increase requests are occurring in many states across the country, and I know they will be a burden for many Delawareans,” said Stewart. “The proposed increases are substantial and I’m going to do my best to reduce them. As is the case with every rate request I receive, I am instructing my actuaries to aggressively examine Highmark’s and Aetna’s supporting data for their requests.”

“I remind consumers that these are proposed rates, not final rates,” added Commissioner Stewart, who also announced that the Insurance Department will conduct public information sessions to receive comment on the proposed increases. The sessions will take place at the following locations in the three counties:

Monday, June 20th at 6:00 p.m. Carvel State Office Building
Auditorium/Mezzanine Level
820 N. French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

Tuesday, June 21st at 11:00 a.m. Delaware Tech Owens Campus
College Theater, Arts & Science Center
21179 College Drive
Georgetown, DE 19947

Tuesday, June 21st at 6:30 p.m. Delaware Department of Insurance
Sussex Conference Room, First Floor
841 Silver Lake Boulevard Dover, DE 19904

Representatives from Highmark and Aetna will be present at each session. Consumers and interested parties may also submit written comments to the Department at ratedivision@delaware.gov until July 15, 2016. Comments may also be submitted in writing to:

Delaware Department of Insurance

Attn: Health Insurance Rate Comments

841 Silver Lake Blvd.

Dover, DE 19904

According to Title 18 of the Delaware Code, insurance companies may not charge rates that are “excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.” The staff at DOI reviews rate filings and independent actuaries retained by DOI review the supporting data to see if the rate changes are justified by the circumstances as presented by the insurance companies. The rate requests and the insurers’ justifications will be posted at www.delawareinsurance.gov during the comment period. The Commissioner reviews the actuaries’ findings and the public comment and works with the insurers to arrive at a rate. That rate is submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for subsequent review. CMS must follow its own regulations and Delaware law before finally approving or denying the requests.



View the Health Insurance Rate Filings webpage: http://www.delawareinsurance.gov/departments/rates/ratefilings.shtml

www.delawareinsruance.gov | Main Office: 302-674-7300