Statement on 2018 Individual Premium Rate APPROVALS

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York works diligently on behalf of our individual members and small employers to establish insurance rates that accurately reflect the cost of care in our community. 

The state’s approved 2018 premiums are the result of several months of actuarial-driven analysis and discussions regarding the true drivers of insurance premiums. 

Our community has become increasingly aware and concerned about the underlying costs of health care – driven by soaring prescription drug prices, new technologies and treatment advancements. However, the difficult news we’ve had to deliver to our individual members is that regulatory changes - not increasing health care costs – has the most significant impact on their 2018 premiums. 

Changes to a program meant to level the playing field for health plans (risk-adjustment), including unnecessary adjustments made by the state, contributed to over half of our individual premium rate increase. 

We’ll continue to work with regulators on addressing these underlying issues.  The state’s willingness to foster a more inclusive, collaborative and transparent rate-setting process this year is a step in the right direction.