In Case You Missed It: Philadelphia Inquirer: The absence of Aetna and United Healthcare lead to hefty increases for Affordable Care Act rates in Philly area

Because of decisions by United Healthcare and Aetna to withdraw from Affordable Care Act exchanges in Pennsylvania for 2017, the remaining insurer in the Philadelphia area, Independence Blue Cross, has been granted bigger increases than it requested in the spring, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department said Monday.

“The department allowed insurers to adjust their rate filings to reflect their emerging 2016 experience and their concerns regarding potentially large influxes of enrollment due to the ongoing volatility in the individual market,” regulators said in a filing approving an average rate increase of 28.4 percent for individual plans offered by IBC subsidiary QCC Insurance Co.

The insurer had requested 23.8 percent in the spring.

The Insurance Department approved a 28 percent average rate increase of IBC’s Keystone Health Plan East unit, up from the 20 percent initially requested.

Open enrollment for 2017 insurance plans starts Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31.

“Making sure the public is aware of these increases now is important to give consumers the time they need to make the best healthcare decision for both themselves and their families, said Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller. “However, these rate increases make it clear that Washington needs to move swiftly to address consumer needs under the Affordable Care Act.”

To read the full story by Harold Brubaker, please click here.