Blue Cross notifies customers of premium increase


Associated Press
POSTED: 10:19 AM Nov 04 2013   UPDATED: 10:21 AM Nov 04 2013
HELENA, Mont. -

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana has notified thousands of customers it is raising premiums 3.5 percent in January because of taxes and fees included in the new federal health care law.
Notices dated Thursday were mailed to holders of group policies that insure tens of thousands of Montanans.
Some of the policyholders signed contracts earlier this year and are getting a mid-contract premium increase. State law generally forbids that, but makes exceptions for changes in state or federal laws.
Blue Cross said the increases are due changes that take effect on Jan. 1 - a flat-rate federal tax on all health insurers to help pay the costs of the Affordable Health Care Act and a $63 per person, annual "reinsurance fee" that will help pay for high-cost claims.