DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's top insurance regulator has approved rate increases for several health providers in the state.

Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart announced Wednesday that he approved increases on individual insurance plans provided by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Coventry Health Care and Gundersen Health Insurance. The changes go into effect in January.

The Des Moines Register reports the rate increases include between 17.6 percent and 28.7 percent on average for plans by Wellmark, 19.8 percent on average for plans by Coventry and 9.4 percent on average for plans by Gundersen.

The newspaper reports some residents who attended a hearing earlier this year on the proposed increases criticized it. Officials for at least two of the providers say the increases were needed because of unexpected health care costs.