23.1 percent. That’s the average rate increase across the board for health insurance plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana.

Spokesman John Doran said the rates released by the Montana State Insurance Commissioner on Tuesday are unchanged from the estimates received over the summer.

“17.3 percent of that increase is directly attributed to the uncertainty in the ACA marketplace,” Doran said. “If you were to remove the uncertainty tomorrow, that the cost share reductions were going to be paid and funded all the way through 2018 and all the uncertainty could be factored out, our increase would only be about 2.3 percent.”

Doran referenced the fact that President Trump was about to announce that health insurers might soon be able to cross state lines to offer policies.

“We just want to make sure that a company in say, Maryland, was able to sell policies in Montana, that Commissioner Rosendale would have the opportunity to ensure that the strong regulations we have in Montana to protect consumers are still in play,” he said. “We also want to make sure that Commissioner Rosendale and others make sure that consumers know their choices when it comes to the provider network. If companies are coming in from out of state that they number one, comply with Montana rules to protect consumers, and two, that they have an adequate provider network that doesn’t leave consumers on the hook for out of network costs.”

Doran said he’s looking forward to being on the Talk Back show in the near future to discuss all the changes coming in Montana healthcare.

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