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Regulators approve premiums hikes exceeding rates payers' requests — 5 things to know

Regulators in eight states approved premiums that were a percentage point or more than the increases that payers requested, according to USA Today.

Here are five things to know:

1. On Oct. 17, Pennsylvania regulators approved individual plan rate increases of 33 percent, eight points higher than payers requested. Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said in a statement that the hikes indicate government officials need to take action to address consumer needs. In the state, Keystone Health Plan and Geisinger Quality Option will no longer offer plans on the ACA exchange.

2. Charles Gaba, a health data expert at ACASignups.net who analyzed the rates for USA Today, said the picture may not appear so bleak and payers have a responsibility to make sure payers can sustain on the marketplace. He said, "To consumers, this seems terrible like, 'Oh, they're price gouging us. It is part of regulators' jobs to keep insurance companies solvent so they can continue to give people insurance."

3. Kaiser Family Foundation found more than 5 million people who are uninsured are eligible for tax credits to help pay their premiums.

4. Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Mexico recently increased premiums by 83 percent and Crystal Run Health Insurance in New York increased premiums by about 80 percent. However, some payers are lowering premiums based on their market, with Medical Health Insurance of Ohio lowering premiums by 17 percent.

5. Next year, unsubsidized healthcare premiums under the ACA are projected to rise nationally by 25 percent.

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