Insurance Hikes Through State Marketplace Top Out at 7 Percent

Insurance Hikes Through State Marketplace Top Out at 7 Percent
Allen Kerr

Health insurance plans sold to Arkansans through the health insurance marketplace will increase in cost by no more than 7.15 percent next year, according to rates approved by the Arkansas Insurance Department.

Individual plans sold by QualChoice will decrease in price by 8.2 percent, the department announced Tuesday.

"I am proud to report that rate increases for health insurance have been held below 10 percent, unlike many other states which are looking at double‐digit percentage price hikes," Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr said in the news release. "I thank the insurance providers who, working with the professional men and women of the Arkansas Insurance Department, were able to submit rate requests grounded in reality and fair for our citizens."

Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield, the dominant carrier in Arkansas, was approved for rate increases of 7.15 percent in individual plans and 3.01 percent in the group plan offered through the exchange.  

Celtic Insurance Co., which markets an individual plan under the name Ambetter, was approved for an increase of 0.08 percent.

QualChoice Life & Health Insurance Co. (QCA Health Plan) will drop its individual rates by 8.2 percent, according to the AID.

The rate changes have been approved and are locked in for 2016. Open enrollment through the marketplace begins Nov. 1 and continues through Jan. 31.