- Associated Press - Friday, July 14, 2017

DENVER (AP) - Coloradans shopping for health insurance on the private market could see eye-popping rate hikes averaging 27 percent next year, the state Division of Insurance announced Friday.

Insurance officials blame the hike on federal uncertainty about what is going to happen to President Barack Obama’s health care law. “The dubious situation at the federal level has contributed to the premium increase requests,” Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar told The Denver Post .

Health insurers are asking to be able to charge customers in the individual market nearly 27 percent more on average in premiums next year. The Division of Insurance must still review and approve the requests.

The price increases would affect a relatively small percentage of Coloradans. No more than 8 percent of people in the state shop for health insurance plans on their own.

But prices in the individual market have taken on outsized political significance in debates over the Affordable Care Act because they are one of that law’s most visible measurements of success or failure.

For that reason, the 2018 premium prices have been the subject of anticipation for months.

Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, has blamed the Affordable Care Act for increases in premiums. Salazar, who was appointed by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, said earlier this year that Republican health care maneuvering at the federal level could cause massive premium spikes.


Information from: The Denver Post, https://www.denverpost.com

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