Health insurance premiums are going up again. The latest request for a rate hike came from Regence for their small group plans. The average increase requested over the next year will be 8%, but some businesses will see increases in excess of 15%. At OSPIRG Foundation, we’re concerned that Regence has not adequately justified this increase request.

You can check out our full analysis of the rate hike HERE, but these are the two big points.

1) Regence says they expect medical costs to rise in excess of 10% this year despite the fact that the historical trend is 3.6%; they haven’t fully explained the methodology that led to the higher number. 

2) Regence has lost over 10% of its small business members since its’ filing last spring. Regence has not explained why they believe that further raising the cost of premiums will not cause them to lose membership.

A major goal of the rate review process is to make it clear to the average consumer why insurance is priced the way it is. We feel that Regence has not adequately explained the rationale for its latest rate hike request, and are hopeful that the Insurance Division will take that concern into account when they make their ruling.