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A new analysis from HealthPocket, Inc., has found that the health insurance industry averaged an application rejection rate of 22 percent of submitted individual and family applications nationally. States with the highest percentage of insurer rejections were Montana (45 percent), Alabama (40 percent), District of Columbia (37 percent), Arkansas (35 percent), and Alaska (34 percent).

The HealthPocket analysis showed wide variation across the country in how often applicants were rejected by health insurers. Some insurers had declination rates greater than 70 percent; others rarely declined applicants. There also was significant variability within insurance companies across different markets, according to HealthPocket. It found that Kaiser Permanente plans in Georgia had a declination rate of 34 percent, but in Hawaii the same company had a rate of 22 percent. HealthPocket found that nationwide, insurers’ average rejection rate exceeded one in five applications within the individual and family insurance markets – significantly higher than findings from a 2010 congressional study of the largest for-profit insurers, which found a declination rate of one in seven applications.

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