Delawareans could face higher insurance rates under federal health care overhaul

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DOVER, Delaware — Delawareans could face higher insurance costs under the Affordable Care Act next year under new rate requests from insurers.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is seeking average premium increases of 5 percent for individuals who bought insurance through Delaware's exchange. Exact premium changes will depend on factors including which plan is selected. Highmark says its premium increase reflects an aging population, prevalence of chronic illnesses and higher costs for new medicines and procedures.

Aetna filed rate requests for preferred provider and new HMO plans. Aetna says some 2,000 people enrolled in PPO plans could see their premiums decrease slightly. The average monthly rate for the HMO option is about $12 cheaper than the average PPO rate.

Regulators are accepting email comments on the rate proposals through July 28.

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