Blue Cross Wants 12.4 – 13.4 % Rate Hike

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode island's largest health insurer and at least one of its competitors are seeking double-digit premium hikes.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island on Monday announced it would seek to boost commercial premiums an average of 12.4 percent to 13.4 percent for next year.

Tufts Health Plan requested increases averaging 11 percent to 12 percent for 2011.

The rate-hike requests affect only plans offered to employees by companies. Plans administered by employers that are self-insured are not affected.

The requests will be reviewed by state Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher Koller.

A Blue Cross spokesman tells The Providence Journal that premiums are directly tied to the cost of delivering health care.

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