Health Insurance Report™ helps you track and analyze legal, legislative, and regulatory developments affecting the health-insurance industry throughout implementation of the Affordable Care Act...
By Sara Hansard
Aug. 8 — Health insurance premiums are slated to rise by 7.5 percent on average in 2015, according to an analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's Health Research Institute (HRI).
The analysis, updated Aug. 1 and publicized in the HRI's weekly newsletter Aug. 8, said publicly released premium proposals in 27 states and the District of Columbia vary widely, from a 23 percent decrease in Arizona to a 36 percent increase in Nevada. The analysis is for the individual market and not specific to the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces, although in many states the two are essentially the same, the HRI said.
The average monthly premium without federal subsidies provided under the ACA for low- and moderate-income people is about $384, the HRI said. Among states that have reported premiums, Indiana had the highest average increase at 15.4 percent for six plans and the highest average premium rate of $514, the HRI said. In Oregon, average premiums were 2.5 percent lower for 2015, although the median premium increase was 1.4 percent, the lowest of the premium changes shown in the interactive map on the HRI website. State insurance commissioners haven't yet approved the premium rate proposals, the analysis said.
The “bellwether” BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) plans have submitted increase requests across the country typically above 9 percent, the analysis said. BCBS plans are being offered in ACA marketplaces, also known as exchanges, in most states.
“Year two of the exchanges is expected to see an upswing in participation from several major commercial insurers,” the analysis said. Major national insurers such as UnitedHealth Group Inc., as well as new Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) are expected to add products and operate in additional states, according to a blog posting by Ceci Connolly, managing director of the HRI, and Caitlin Sweany, a senior manager of the HRI. The ACA authorizes nonprofit CO-OPs to receive start-up loans from the federal government.
“Importantly insurers have factored in additional costs for 2015, such as a higher industry fee (up from $8 billion this year to $11.3 billion) and a lower federal reimbursement rate for reinsurance of high-dollar claims,” the blog posting said.
California, the largest state in terms of population, with 1.4 million enrollees in 2014, is reporting a weighted average increase of about 4.2 percent, and in New York officials recently announced a weighted average increase of 13 percent in 2015, the blog posting said.
Arizona has the lowest premium filing at $211 a month, according to the blog posting. However, the average premiums proposed in the state are 11.2 percent higher for 2015, and the median premiums are 14 percent higher, according to the interactive map in the analysis.
Colorado has the widest range of rate proposal requests among 12 carriers, according to the blog posting: from a 22 percent reduction to a 35 percent increase.
Sweany told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail Aug. 8 that a new update “should be posted early next week.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Sara Hansard in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Janey Cohen at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)