If Illinois residents can judge from Texas and Oklahoma, they can expect health insurance fees to rise by about 50 percent in the coming months. Chicago-based Health Care Service Corp owns Blue Cross in all three states, and they have requested a 53.7 percent increase in Texas and a 49.2 percent increase in Oklahoma, across its Affordable Care Act plans. It is not a sure thing that these price hikes will be approved, and if the exact numbers are not approved, what kind of rate hikes to expect instead.
Blue Cross is the most popular insurer in Illinois, as it is in Texas and Oklahoma. Mark Spencer, spokesman for HCSC said Illinois’ proposed hikes have not been made public yet. He said it is premature to speculate about the local price hikes since pricing is based on local conditions.
The Illinois Department of Insurance agreed that the rate plans proposed by Blue Cross and other insurers are still under review. It is up to the federal government to publish the new ACA rates, and are planning to do so for Illinois on August 1st, said the spokeswoman for the department, Anjali Julka.
Spencer would not comment on what the company would do if the requested rate hike was not granted. Last year Blue Cross pulled out of the health exchange in New Mexico when the state’s insurance regulators turned down HCSC’s proposal to raise their rates by 51 percent.