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The Delaware Department of Insurance (“DOI”) has received a proposed rate increase request from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware (“Highmark BCBSD”) for 5.7% for its 2019 individual Marketplace business. This rate request pertains exclusively to the approximately 20,000 Delawareans who purchase coverage on the individual marketplace. Highmark BCBSD’s proposed rate will be thoroughly vetted by the DOI and its independent actuaries before a final rate is determined. Regardless whether the increase of the rate request is 33.6% or 5.7%, the same level of close examination and scrutiny will be conducted by the staff of the DOI, as well as an independent actuary, prior to my final approval of any rate request.
The Department of Insurance encourages the participation of the Delaware public and consumer advocacy groups in an effort to promote transparency during the rate increase request review process, particularly in those related to the Affordable Care Act. During this process, the DOI has the authority to approve or request a revision of a proposed rate before it takes effect; in order to protect its consumers from unjustified, unreasonable, or discriminatory proposals from insurers. The presence of public input within the rate review process provides an outside perspective from the consumers who feel the effects the most.
The DOI is tasked with balancing the financial needs of health insurance companies and the affordability of coverage for its consumers. Through commentary from the public and consumer advocacy groups, the Department of Insurance can provide an open forum by allowing a free flow of perspectives from all Delawareans. I welcome your input regarding this important matter.
Please note that submitted comments become part of the public record. All of the comments that the Department of Insurance receives will be reviewed, compiled, and posted on the Department of Insurance website. Therefore, we recommend you use discretion when including personal information that you would not want publicly disclosed. Even though we will review and compile the comments, we will not be responding to them individually. If you have an individual concern, or need assistance with an insurance issue, please call our office at 302-674-7300, or email us at email@example.com.
Trinidad Navarro, Insurance Commissioner