Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield says it won't join federal marketplace, rates to increase


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SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota — The largest private health insurer in South Dakota has opted to not sell plans through the federal marketplace during the open enrollment period that begins in November.

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield says it will forgo participating in the Health Insurance Marketplace in South Dakota for an additional year.

The health insurer that sells plans in South Dakota and Iowa also says that it has filed its 2015 requested rates with the South Dakota Insurance Division. The company says if approved the "vast majority" of individual policy holders will see their rates increase on average by 7.9 percent.

The rate increases would take effect on January 1, 2015, if approved.

The company says there are about 82,000 individuals and small groups in South Dakota that are Wellmark members.

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