- Associated Press - Friday, August 18, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island officials have approved health insurance premium rates for 2018, giving the OK to increases ranging from 5 percent to 12.1 percent.

Marie Ganim, the state health insurance commissioner, said Thursday that approved rates were in some cases lower than the insurance companies had requested. She says that will save consumers nearly $17 million.

The biggest premium hike will be for those who purchase plans from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island on the individual market. The lowest approved increase is for Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island’s individual market plans.

Ganim’s office attributes rising rates to the increasing costs of prescription drugs, increased hospital usage and the reinstatement of a federal health insurance tax. She says Rhode Island has a better outlook than many other states.

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