MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermonter’s health care regulator has granted Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont a 9.2 percent rate increase for the 70,000 people who get coverage via Vermont Health Connect, the state’s online benefit exchange.

Blue Cross had requested a 12.7 percent average annual rate increase beginning Jan. 1. It cited increased costs, an aging population and changes to federal law.

The Green Mountain Care Board, which regulates health care in the state, released its decision on Thursday.

Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Kevin Mullin said the board had to balance the needs of the insurer with the needs of people who buy insurance. He says the board worked hard to find savings for Vermonters.

Mullin said people who use Vermont Health Connect should check to see if they’re eligible for subsidies.