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VOL. 40 | NO. 34 | Friday, August 19, 2016

Tennessee approves health insurance rate hikes

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NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee officials have approved rate increases requested by health insurers offering exchange plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Local news organizations report that rates are expected to increase next year by an average of 62 percent for BlueShield of Tennessee, 46 percent for Cigna and 44.3 percent for Humana.

Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie McPeak calls the increases substantial and says that the state's exchange is "very near collapse."

McPeak said Tuesday that her office signed off on the hikes in an effort to keep the program afloat. She says her office feared insurers would leave the marketplace if rates didn't increase.

Last year, United Healthcare withdrew from the Tennessee marketplace exchange after one year.

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