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Maine health insurance premiums to reach record highs in 2017

PORTLAND (AP) — Health insurance premiums in Maine are poised to reach unprecedented highs in 2017, and small businesses are expected to be hardest hit as a result.

The Maine Bureau of Insurance reported that state-approved increases for this upcoming year average double-digits for all individual health plans and about half of all small group plans.

The Portland Press Herald reported (http://bit.ly/2dGHAFx ) that because the increases vary significantly depending upon the provider, the most cost-effective plans for 2016 may not remain so next year.

The biggest increase in 2017 will be for individual plans offered by Community Health Options, which is raising rates by an average of 25.5 percent.

Rate increases for individual and small group plans are largely based on claims paid out by insurers during the prior year.

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