OHIC approves rates

After a thorough review, the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC) has approved Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s (BCBSRI) 2017 premium rates.

Our 2017 rates reflect the projected cost of paying providers along with taxes, assessments, and the cost of operations. On average, customers will see the following increase from 2016 rates in 2017:

  • Small Group +3.6%
  • Large Group +7.0%

The continued rise in healthcare costs led to increased rates this year, but we were able to keep the increase in small business rates well below the projected national average of 6.5%. In the face of rising healthcare costs, BCBSRI continues to implement our strategy not only to control those costs but also to improve quality of care:

Prime partnership

A major driver of increased healthcare costs is the trend in prescription drug costs. BCBSRI’s new relationship with Prime Therapeutics in 2017, a PBM owned by Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, ensures market leading prices and transparency in this critical area of trend management.

Value-based payments

We continue to work with providers to expand the role of value-based payments in the Rhode Island healthcare system, rewarding value rather than volume of care. For example, BCBSRI Advance Primary Care teams saved $12 million in claims costs in 2014.

Plan choice

BCBSRI continues to offer small and large group employers an extensive range of plan choices, from our innovative BlueCHiP Advance product to our fully integrated HSA-compatible plan, BlueSolutions.

Modern wellness program

In 2017 Virgin Pulse and BCBSRI will offer modern corporate wellness services that engage employees with mobile apps and wearable device technology to help them stay healthy.

Employers also benefit from the convenience of offering employees a simple and complete suite of coverage including dental, vision, and voluntary products while enjoying our unmatched service options including three retail stores, mobile app and messaging services, 24-hour nurse care lines, and local customer service agents available 7 days a week.

Please speak with your BCBSRI representative if you would like more details about 2017 rates.