Insurer seeks lower rate increase after legislative action

    A major health insurer is seeking an average rate increase of about 10 percent on individual health insurance policies in Alaska, far less than what it received the last two years

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A major health insurer is seeking an average rate increase of about 10 percent on individual health insurance policies in Alaska, far less than what it received the last two years. This follows recent steps by the state to shore up Alaska's insurance marketplace.

    Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield is expected to be the only company offering individual health policies in Alaska in 2017, with Moda Health planning to leave that market. Premera received average rate increases of nearly 40 percent for 2015 and 2016.

    Premera credited the lower request for 2017 to state legislation passed in June aimed at stabilizing the market.

    Under the bill, claims for high-cost conditions would be ceded to a high-risk pool funded by a premium tax paid to the state by insurance companies. The bill anticipates $55 million being available.

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