CINCINNATI — Insurance companies in Cincinnati are slashing their premiums by more than $50,000 for 2018, the first time in more than a decade that the city has cut rates.
Cincinnati Insurance Commissioner David Hinkle said the cuts will save consumers and companies money.
Hinkle said in a statement the increases will allow the company to increase rates on many policies to keep up with rising costs.
It’s the first year since 2010 that the company has offered premium increases, he said.
Cincinnati’s average annual premium for a family of four is now $11,638.
It dropped $50 this year to $10,739, according to data from the state.
Holes were filled by new insurance policies in 2018, but many companies have been able to offer a lower price than expected, said David Guggenheim, vice president of the insurance brokerage Aon Corp.
A large group of insurers, including Nationwide, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Ohio and Progressive, will be able to raise rates.
That could put pressure on prices for other insurance plans, such as health plans offered through private insurers.
The insurance company said the increase will affect a wide range of plans, from those covering children to those covering seniors.
In 2018, more than 3 million people had health insurance through their employer or government plan.
That means many people will have to pay more.
The insurer is cutting the average rate by about $5,200, or a third of what it’s been doing for the past three years, according a statement.
The average increase will apply to a large portion of those affected by the reduction.
A big part of the change comes from a new health plan called the Community Health Plan, which the insurer launched in 2018.
It covers some 1 million people who currently receive coverage through their employers.
The company is rolling out the new plan in other parts of the city.
The changes are part of a wider strategy by the insurer to reduce costs as insurance companies cut back on services and medical expenses.