Tester Holds Blue Cross Blue Shield Accountable for Proposed Rate Increases

Senator Stands Up For Montana Families, Fights for Affordable Health Insurance

(Billings, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester is holding Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana (BCBS) accountable, making sure the company does everything it can to maintain affordable health insurance for Montanans.

In a letter to BCBS’s parent company Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), Tester warned that the proposed 2017 health insurance hikes could hurt families across the state and urged the insurance provider to explore less expensive options for consumers. BCBS is proposing rate increases averaging as much as 62 percent, depending on the type of plan.

“While premium increases were a reality long before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, we know that BCBS plans in other states have found innovative ways to reduce costs and maintain quality of care for enrollees,” Tester wrote. “In light of the proposed rate increases for 2017, we urge HCSC to actively engage with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to identify strategies – including those already utilized by other BCBS companies – to reduce costs and improve care for the tens of thousands of our constituents covered by your plans. It is our hope that, by doing so, consumers in our states will not have to absorb significant premium increases year after year.”

The other two major health insurance providers in Montana, PacificSource and Montana Health CO-OP, are also proposing significant rate increases. Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen is currently reviewing the rates.

Tester’s letter to BCBS is available HERE.