Final Delaware ACA rate increase approved

This file photo shows the short form for the federal Affordable Care Act application. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

This file photo shows the short form for the federal Affordable Care Act application. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Delaware residents with health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace will be hit with 3 percent rate increases next year. That’s about half of what Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield requested.

Currently, 20,000 Delawareans covered under the Obamacare marketplace will pay more after Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro gave his approval. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield initially requested a 5.7 percent increase.

“Even though I’m pleased that the department was able to approve a rate, which is 47 percent less than the proposed rate, I recognize that this increase places an additional burden on thousands of families,” Navarro said in a statement.

The increase is much less than last year, when Highmark’s rate jumped 25 percent amid uncertainty about the future of the ACA as Republicans worked to repeal Obamacare. Last year Highmark had asked for a 33.6 percent increase.

Some of the rate hike will be offset as ACA customers get a rebate from Highmark this year.

“Highmark will be rebating a total of $5,05,952 to their small group market members as a result of their administrative fees exceeding the mandated medical loss ratio rules,” Navarro said. The rebates should be paid out by the end of September.

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