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Wyoming Health Insurance Rates Are Proposed To Increase

Bob Beck
Wyoming Public Radio

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming is proposing to raise health insurance rates by 48 percent in the coming year. That would mainly impact the 28,000 Wyomingites who get their coverage via the Federal Health Insurance Exchange.  

Those off the exchange and who get group insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield could also see a substantial increase. Spokeswoman Wendy Curran explained that Blue Cross Blue Shield is nervous about proposed changes in the current health care law. She said they are particularly concerned about threats to remove cost shared reduction subsidies.

“Those cost share reductions are federal funding that is intended to help low-income people manage the costs of their doctor visits and their medications by reducing the out of pocket expenses they have: the deductibles, the co-pays, the co-insurance.”

Curran said removing that funding would drive up costs, as would the proposal to no longer require all people to have insurance. 

“Generally it is the healthiest people who opt not to have it and what that does is then drive costs up, because who is left with insurance and in the insurance pool are those who are sicker who do have health conditions and who do need to use their insurance more,” said Curran.

The proposed rate hike would have to be approved by the federal department of Health and Human Services. Wyoming does not have rate setting authority for health insurance plans.  

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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