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Alexander Statement on Health Insurance Rate Increase Requests for 2016

Says many Tennesseans' premiums could rise by double digits

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1 – Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement on the announcement of the requests for double-digit rate hikes by four Tennessee health insurance companies, recently submitted to the Tennessee Commissioner of Insurance for approval and posted on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website earlier today:

“The unfortunate reality is, principally because of Obamacare, tens of thousands of Tennesseans who buy individual Obamacare policies could see their health care premiums go up next year by double digits—and by more than 36 percent if they’re enrolled in the state’s most popular plan. This is money that will come straight out of many of these Tennesseans’ pocketbooks. Republicans are ready to reduce Tennesseans’ costs with plans to restore freedom and competition to the insurance marketplace and allow individuals to choose the health care plan that meets their needs and their budget.”

The information posted on the administration’s website today only includes health plans requesting a rate increase of 10 percent or more, with full reporting coming closer to the third Obamacare open enrollment. So far, hundreds of health plans have requested this double-digit increase, often citing increased costs due to Obamacare. Of the five insurers in the Tennessee exchange, Community Health Alliance, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Humana, and Cigna have all requested rate increases from the state. The fifth, Assurant, has announced it will not be on the exchange for 2016.