CHICAGO (AP) – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is taking the rare step of weighing in on Illinois’ handling of a health insurance rate increase request.
Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s leading insurer, is suggesting price increases for 2017 ranging from 23 percent to 45 percent for individual health plans. Illinois Department of Insurance regulators can’t reject rates outright, but they can negotiate.
Durbin says the company could be more competitive and reduce costs, and he’s pressing state regulators to hold the company accountable. The Democrat has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2018, but he has deflected questions about it.
A Department of Insurance spokesman says the state is “working vigorously” to ensure that consumers are protected. A company spokeswoman says it will continue to work with state and federal regulators.