(Portland Press Herald/J. Craig Anderson) — Health insurance premiums in Maine will jump to unprecedented highs in 2017, making it essential for individual policyholders and small businesses to shop around for the best deals as their benefit enrollments begin.
State-approved rate increases for the coming year average in the double digits for all individual health plans and about half of all small group plans in Maine, according to the Maine Bureau of Insurance. Maine’s health insurance rates already rank among the highest in the nation, in part because of the state’s relatively sparse population and high percentage of elderly residents. They are also affected by national trends, including rising prescription prices and treatment costs.