WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Private health care premiums shoot higher

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some lawmakers may soon wish health care reform had passed.

The Obama administration says premium increases of nearly 40 percent are not an exception but a worrisome sign.

For example, Anthem in Maine was denied an 18-1/2 percent increase last year and is now back for even more.

Michigan's Blue Cross-Blue Shield requested hikes of 56 percent last year. And in Washington state, rates for some plans shot up by up to 40 percent until regulators cracked down.

Insurers say the push for higher premiums reflects supply and demand, as people switch to lower coverage, leaving the less healthy in the risk pools, pushing up rates for everyone.

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