Associated Press Published

Benchmark Insurance Plan's Cost to Increase in West Virginia

Doctor Patient Health Care Coverage

Federal officials say West Virginia residents will see an 18.5 percent increase in the cost of a benchmark plan on the health care exchange.

The increase for 2016 coverage in West Virginia is higher than the average for the 37 states that are using the website. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that premiums for the benchmark plan across all states relying on the federal exchange will increase by an average of 7.5 percent.

Rates are decreasing in a handful of states for the benchmark plan, which is the second lowest-cost silver plan.

The third open enrollment session begins on Nov. 1. At the end of the 2015 enrollment period, more than 33,000 West Virginians had selected a plan on the exchange.