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Pa. Insurance Rates To Go Up For Plans Through Affordable Care Act

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HARRISBURG (KDKA/AP) -- Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is blaming President Donald Trump for a sharp increase in the cost of health insurance that'll take effect next year for residents who buy individual plans.

Wolf's administration released the approved 2018 rates Monday, saying the average increase will be just 30.6 percent. The administration says the increase would've been less than 8 percent if Trump hadn't halted cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers or created uncertainty around the fate of the individual mandate.

In a statement, Wolf accused Congress of being complicit in the rate increases because it didn't appropriate the cost-sharing reduction payments that Trump is ending.

UPMC Health Options, Inc. asked for a 7.96 percent increase, but was approved for an increase of 41.15 percent.

Highmark Inc. requested an increase of 19.65 percent and was approved for a 25.27 percent rate increase.

Open enrollment for 2018 starts Nov. 1 and people must sign up by Dec. 15 for coverage that's effective Jan. 1. Increases in small group plan rates will average 7.6 percent in 2018.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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