Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield files requests for rate hikes

By  - 6/29/2012 3:17:27 PM

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield has filed requests with the state Department of Insurance for 2013 rate hikes of 6.3 percent to 19.9 percent on community-rated plans, Excellus officials said Friday.

If approved, Healthy Blue plans, which account for most of the Blues’ community-rated products locally, would see increases ranging from 9 percent to 11.7 percent, officials said. Some plans would see increases ranging from 6.3 percent for large group HMO to increases ranging from 16.4 percent to 19.9 percent for high-deductible plans.

Under the request, some plans could see decreases of 3.4 percent, the insurer said. Ranges of proposed rate changes vary by product type. 

 “With these rate adjustments, our products will continue to be priced lower than comparable products offered by competitors in 2013,” said James Reed, Excellus senior vice president of sales and marketing, in a statement.

Higher forecasts of expenses are attributed to rising costs related to surgeries, emergency services, lab tests, specialty drug prices and other factors, he added

Medicare Advantage products, such as Medicare Blue Choice, are unaffected by the proposed adjustments announced Friday, officials said. Medicare Advantage products and prices are governed by the federal government, and any changes typically are announced in the fall.

Also unaffected by the rate changes are groups that are experience-rated or self-funded.
Excellus is the region’s dominant health insurer.

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