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PPACA public exchange plans in New York seek to raise premiums by 17%

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(Bloomberg) — New York state health insurers are seeking to raise the premiums that customers pay for individual Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchange plans by an average of 17.3 percent for next year

See also: PPACA World 2017: New York may be alive

Oscar Insurance Corp., a closely held startup, has proposed boosting individual rates by 18.4 percent on average, while CareConnect Insurance Co. is asking for an increase of 29.2 percent. UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), which is exiting many other states, is seeking to boost New York state premiums by 45.6 percent — the second-highest request in the state.

“Medical costs have gone up, government programs that helped cover our costs are ending, and our members needed more care than we expected,” Oscar said in a letter to the state explaining its request.

The New York State Department of Financial Services can review the rates and force insurers to lower them. Last year, insurers in the state requested a 10.4 percent increase for individual policies on average and were allowed to raise rates by about 7.1 percent.

Small-group insurers are asking for an increase of 12 percent, the department said. Oxford Health, a unit of UnitedHealth, is seeking an increase of 12.9 percent in the small-group market.