Michigan insurers seek up to 39% premium rate increases

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services announced health insurers' proposed premium rate increases for 2017, with some requesting up to 39.2 percent, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The rate increases reflect recent losses from high drug costs and covering individuals with preexisting conditions, according to the report. The proposed rates will not affect most people in Michigan who purchase health plans on the individual market, as they qualify for tax credit subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

For individual plans on the federal marketplace, Louisville, Ky.-based Humana Medical Plan of Michigan requested the highest increase at 39.2 percent, followed by Detroit-based Harbor Health Plan at 30.9 percent and Detroit-based Alliance Health and Life Insurance at 23.5 percent.

The state's largest insurer on the federal marketplace — Detroit-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which insures about 200,000 individuals — requested an 18.7 percent increase for its individual plans and a 14.8 percent increase for its Blue Care Network individual plans. The insurer with the second largest number of members on the individual market — Grand Rapids-based Priority Health, which insures about 113,100 individuals — requested a 13.9 percent rate increase.

In terms of small group rate increase, Owatonna, Minn.-based Federated Mutual Insurance requested the highest increase at 15 percent, followed by Lincoln, Neb.-based Assurity Life Insurance at 8.6 percent and Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Grand Valley Health Plan at 8.2 percent. Market leader BCBSM requested a 2.6 percent increase on small group plans and a 3.6 percent increase on its Blue Care Network small group plans.

The department is accepting public comment through July 31. 

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