State OK’s modest hikes to health insurance rates
State insurance regulators have approved health premium base rate increases of under 6 percent for policies renewing in the fourth quarter that cover small businesses and individuals. The increases were the lowest in recent memory, insurance officials said.
In addition to base rates, additional charges could be tacked on for many customers depending on factors such as their industry and geography and the age of a workforce.
Regulators have been pressing health insurers for more than a year to keep their premium increases moderate after years of double-digit annual increases.
For the fourth quarter policies, regulators approved base rate increases of 5.9 percent for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and its health maintenance organization, 3 percent for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, 5.9 percent for Harvard Pilgrim’s HMO business, 5.9 percent for Tufts Health Plan and its HMO business, 5.3 percent for Fallon Community Health Plan and 5.4 percent for Fallon’s HMO.