Health insurance rates expected to climb 4.9 percent

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Pennsylvania health insurers offering individual plans recently requested an aggregate statewide increase of 4.9 percent for 2019 health insurance plans, state Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said.

The insurers offering small group market plans requested an aggregate statewide increase of 3 percent.

When compared to neighboring states, this increase is slight. In Maryland, for example, the requested increase is 30 percent while in New York, its 24 percent.

In many states, the double-digit premium increases are the result of the unraveling of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

All the health insurers that participated in the 2018 Pennsylvania health insurance market have said they will remain in the market in 2019.

“However, the ongoing attempts and recent proposed rules being considered at the federal level to dismantle the ACA still have the potential to jeopardize market stability in future years and negatively impact health insurance consumers,” Altman said. “We will continue to work to protect the progress we have made, including Pennsylvania’s lowest uninsured rate on record, and make affordability and access our top priorities for consumers.”

In 31 counties, more health insurers will be offering coverage, and eight counties will have only one insurer offering coverage in 2019.

Rates will be approved in the fall.