Delawareans Learn More About Possible Insurance Increase - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delawareans Learn More About Possible Insurance Increase

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DOVER, Del.- Insurance rates could be going up for people in Delaware. Two health insurers made requests earlier this month to raise their rates.

According to the Department of Insurance, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware and Aetna, Inc. have filed for rate increases.

A few concerned Delawareans gathered at Del Tech in Georgetown to find out what exactly could happen to their insurance rates Monday afternoon.

The Department of Insurance hosted public information sessions throughout the state to inform the public about the proposed rate increases as well as receive feedback.

For business owners like Dan Henderson of Seaford, keeping his employees insured is a constant battle each year.

"It becomes increasingly challenging to offer the benefits," Henderson explains.

If the proposed requests are approved, Henderson is not sure what his next move in insuring his employees will be.

"As an employer in the small group market, insurance will effect our decision as to whether we continue in the small group market or discontinue that and have our employees go into the individual market," said Henderson.

Representatives from both Aetna and Highmark spoke at the session about the need for the rates to increase. According to the Department of Insurance, Highmark is asking for a 25.4% increase in the individual market while Aetna is requesting a 16% increase. In the small group market, Highmark is requesting a 12.7% increase while Aetna is requesting a 6.1% decrease.

The requests were filed but the decisions have not yet been made.

"We're trying to make this opportunity out there for the folks if they have some comments to get back to the commissioner," said Paul Reynolds, the Chief of Staff in the Department of Insurance. "She'll take those comments into consideration to the extent that she can when she finally makes a decision and a recommendation for the rates that are filed."

The next public information session is set for Tuesday, June 16th at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington at 6 pm. For those who were not able to make a session but would still like their voices to be heard, the Department of Insurance is urging people to submit written comments by emailing them at ratedivision@state.de.us. Comments will be taken into consideration up until July 15th, 2015.

For more information visit their website at delaware.gov

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