Health insurers in Idaho request premium rate hikes as high as 81 percent

Health care insurers in Idaho have requested premium rate hikes as high as 81 percent for next year, according to the state's Department of Insurance.

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The five insurers serving the individual market in Idaho are Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Mountain Health Co-Op, PacificSource Health Plans, Regence BlueShield of Idaho, and SelectHealth.

For all plans, insurers requested rates ranging from a low of 25 percent to a high of 51 percent for a combined average statewide rate increase of 38 percent. For Obamacare's popular Silver plan, the average rate increase among all insurers was even higher at 50 percent, with one insurer requesting a high of 81 percent.

"I am deeply disappointed and frustrated to share these rates," said Dean Cameron, who directs the department. "I understand how difficult it will be for Idahoans to afford reasonable coverage, especially those without a subsidy."

He noted that premiums for the Silver plans are significantly higher due to the uncertainty of Obamacare's cost-sharing reduction program.

"I call on Congress to either repeal the CSR requirement or fund the program," Cameron said. "That action alone would reduce the proposed increase by at least 20 percent on the Silver plans."

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