Commissioner Navarro Releases Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield ACA Rate

Dover, DE – Delaware’s Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) Marketplace rate for 2018 was announced today by Commissioner Trinidad Navarro.  On June 14th, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware (”Highmark”) requested a 33.6% rate increase for ACA (Obamacare) individual Marketplace policies.  A rate increase of 25% was ultimately approved following months of review, examinations, public feedback, and meetings between Commissioner Navarro and Highmark executives. This rate filing has no impact on Medicare, Medicaid, or coverage by private and government employers. Aetna had been participating in Delaware’s ACA market since the ACA’s inception, but withdrew May 10th before submitting a rate filing proposal for 2018.   That left Highmark as the only insurer providing coverage under the ACA in Delaware in the coming year. Last year, there were approximately 27,000 Delawareans insured under the ACA, or about 3% of the State’s population.  Commissioner Navarro stated: “These 27,000 people are among those who can least afford a rate increase. There were almost 200 public comments that my staff and I carefully reviewed and took into consideration.  I anguished over this rate filing, particularly after reading the comments we received.  I thought about how this affects those with limited income, but I also had to consider the possibility of Delaware not having any Marketplace option should Highmark withdraw from the ACA market.  I would also like to express my appreciation to our Federal delegation for their assistance with our efforts to reduce the initial rate filing request by Highmark.”.

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