Watch ABC40 News Live!   (View)

Mass. OKs Small Hike in Health Insurance Rates

BOSTON (AP) — State insurance regulators have approved a 1.2 percent quarterly increase in small group health insurance rates in Massachusetts.

The state Division of Insurance also said Monday that two of the state’s largest insurers — Tufts and Fallon — actually plan to lower rates for the three-month period beginning July 1.

State officials say it’s the second consecutive quarter that rate increases for individuals and small businesses have been held below 2 percent, and continues a trend that that began more than two years ago when Gov. Deval Patrick ordered state regulators to use their authority to reject rate requests that were considered unreasonable and excessive.

Patrick said Monday that the insurance rate trend is going in the “right direction,” but he repeated his call for lawmakers to pass a health care cost containment bill.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)