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State approves Excellus BCBS rate-hike requests

Rochester Business Journal
October 11, 2012

The state Department of Financial Services on Thursday announced rulings on Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield’s 2013 rate requests, giving the Blues a weighted average 12.5 percent increase in Rochester-area small-group community-rated plan rates and shaving some 3 points of their 6.3 percent request for large-group HMO plans for an average 3.2 percent increase.

Rate changes within those broad categories vary by product as do changes to individual groups.

Excellus’ Rochester-area small group PPO plans will see an average 9.6 percent rate hike, with individual groups seeing hikes ranging between 9 percent and 19.9 percent.

High-deductible plan subscribers, who pay relatively small monthly premiums but initially lay out high out-of-pocket expenses, will see a weighted average 16.6 percent increase with individual plan rate hikes ranging between 16.6 percent and 16.9 percent.

Enrollees in state subsidized the Blues’ Healthy New York plans for low-income families will see a 3.2 percent rate increase in 2013.

Rate increases take effect Jan. 1.

The approvals “came very close to what we asked for,” Excellus vice president of community affairs James Redmond said. Letters detailing rate hikes would go out to area subscribers shortly, he added. 

The Blues are the region’s largest commercial health insurance carrier, insuring some 80 percent of enrollees.

The region’s second biggest health insurer is Schenectady-based MVP Health Care. Its rate hike requests are still under review.  
 
(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.
 


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