On Friday, the Montana State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner’s Office released the new rates for the Obamacare marketplace health insurance marketplace, and there were some reductions in rates.

Spokesman for Commissioner Matt Rosendale, Kyle Schmauch said the rate review process had just been completed.

“The Insurance Commissioner goes through the new health insurance rates and makes them justify whatever changes they want to make, and also looks for any errors in their filing,” said Schmauch. “Due to the healthcare insurance laws, there’s very little that the insurance commissioner can do about the rates, as long as each policy adheres to Obamacare’s numerous mandates and continue to overall go up like we’ve seen every year since Obamacare was passed.”

Schmauch began with rates for individual Obamacare plans.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield this year is looking at a zero percent overall increase in the individual rates,” he said. “For Pacific Source the average plans are going up six percent, and for the Montana Healthcare Co-op there’s an average increase of 10 point three percent.”

It was in the group insurance plan rates where there was some surprise.

“In Montana, a lot of people get their insurance through the small group plans, and this years we actually saw a bit of a decrease, something we haven’t seen for quite some time with a decrease of four point two percent on plans covering about 25,000 Montanans,” he said. “For Pacific Source, we had a small increase of one point eight percent on average, and for the Montana Health Co-op there was a four point eight percent average increase.”

Open enrollment for 2019 Obamacare health plans will begin on November 1, 2018 and run through December 15, 2018.

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