Health premiums to rise 16.7 percent in individual market

File photo (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The nearly 400,000 people who buy their own health insurance in Michigan will see premiums rise by an average of 16.7 percent next year.

It’s a sticker shock that insurers and the government say can be offset for those who qualify for tax credits.

Open enrollment for 2017 begins Nov. 1.

It’s the fourth year individuals can purchase private insurance through a government-regulated market under the federal health care law.

The price spikes are being blamed on higher costs, primarily people submitting more claims than expected and the end of a federal re-insurance program that protects insurers from substantial losses from high-cost enrollees.

Other reasons include specialty drug prices and younger adults deciding not to buy insurance and to instead pay a fee when filing their tax return.

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