The large rate increases requested by Tennessee's largest insurers for the federal marketplace have many employers wondering if they can expect similar hikes for their group plans.
BlueCross BlueShield has requested the state approve  a significant 19 percent increase for individual plans, while Humana requested a 14.4 percent increase and Cigna requested an increase of 7.5 percent, according to state documents.
The state must also approve rate increases for small group plans, where premium hikes look set to rise only a little less steeply: Aetna is requesting a 9.3 percent increase, BlueCross BlueShield is asking a 9.4 percent increase and Humana is requesting an increase of 11.6 percent.
"Those are fair numbers they're looking at," said Austin Madison, principal at The Crichton Group, a Nashville-based insurance agency. "Nine percent year over year has been the trend over the past three years. The challenge becomes looking at that from the employer perspective. That's outpacing inflation, and it