First 2015 rate filings show premium hikes

Health plan rates proposed in Virginia, the first state to publicize rate proposals for 2015, support industry analyst predictions that premiums will rise next year, reported the Wall Street Journal. All of the insurers operating in Virginia are increasing their rates, but not as high as some experts and insurance CEOs have estimated. Some Virginia insurers are raising rates by only 3.3 percent, including Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. Meanwhile, WellPoint's Anthem HealthKeepers wants to increase premiums by an average of 8.5 percent on individual plans to accommodate the poorer health of many new members, who will likely boost their healthcare utilization, the Wall Street Journal noted. Other insurers, like CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, have proposed roughly 15 percent rate hikes, primarily because of the increased average age of enrollees. Article