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Highmark, Aetna ask for huge insurance rate hikes in 2017

Rates for individual and small group plans on Delaware’s health insurance marketplace could skyrocket in 2017 should proposed changes be cemented.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware and Aetna are asking for significant hikes in the individual market. Aetna is looking for a 25 percent increase compared to Highmark’s 32.5 percent jump.


Aetna Life, a life insurance subsidiary of its parent company, and Aetna asked for small group increases of roughly 18 and 23 percent respectively, while Highmark only requested a 2.7 percent hike.


The proposals are under review by state regulators who will hold public meetings in all three counties in mid-June.


Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart (D) called the rate hikes “substantial” and that she’d do her best to reduce them.


Last year, both companies also requested double-digit rate hikes, citing an aging population typically associated with higher healthcare costs.


Public comment will be accepted through July 15.

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