Insurer seeks average rate drop in Alaska for second year

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The lone provider of individual health insurance policies in Alaska says it is seeking an average rate decrease across its plans for the second year.

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield is seeking an average rate decrease of 3.9 percent for 2019. The state approved an average rate decrease of 22.4 percent for 2018 for Premera plans.

In a statement, Jim Grazko, president and general manager of Premera's Alaska office, says several factors contributed to the lower rates. They include a decrease in use of medical services, stability in the state's individual insurance market and coverage of high-cost claims through a state program approved in 2016.

Gov. Bill Walker says thousands of Alaskans will save money because of the state program.

The rate filing still must be finalized by the state.

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