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Wed Sep 14, 2016, 08:42 PM

Premera's Alaska rates to rise 7 percent next year, less than estimated

With $55 million of state money propping up Alaska's individual health insurance market, the market's only insurance provider says it will raise its rates less than previously anticipated.

Rates on the individual insurance market will increase 7.3 percent for Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, the state's sole insurer on the market. The rates were approved Aug. 22 and go into effect at the start of 2017.

Initially, Premera estimated a nearly 10 percent increase for 2017. With additional time to analyze claims, Premera saw a slight decrease in medical services used by its members, resulting in the lower increase, spokeswoman Melanie Coon wrote.

Premera is Alaska's largest insurer. In both 2014 and 2015, Premera's individual rates jumped about 40 percent. In 2015, three insurance companies abandoned the market, followed this year by Moda Health, which will no longer provide individual insurance in 2017. That left Premera as the sole provider in the Alaska market.

Read more: http://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2016/09/14/premeras-alaska-rates-to-rise-7-percent-next-year-less-than-previously-estimated/

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