Va., Wash. Insurer Filings Offer Sneak Peak at 2015 Exchange Rates
Health plans likely will increase their premiums for coverage sold through the health insurance exchanges in 2015, but they likely will be lower than recent predictions of double-digit rate hikes, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Virginia Premium Rate Filings
Filings from Virginia insurers to the state's insurance regulator show that while the companies intend to increase premium rates for 2015 plans, the bump will not be as high as some have anticipated. Virginia is the first state to make such rate proposals public.
For example, a rate filing submitted by the Anthem HealthKeepers plan says it will increase premiums by an average of 8.5% for its individual plans sold in Virginia, which cover around 110,000 people. According to the filing, the increase would vary across the different plans sold in the state, with some consumers seeing their premiums rise by 16.6% and other seeing increases of 0.5%.
HealthKeepers noted that it had to raise premium prices to account for the poorer health of uninsured individuals who enrolled in plans this year and who likely will enroll next year. In addition, the company cited demand and the cost of new fees under the ACA for the rise.
Meanwhile, other filings in the state showed that premiums will increase from 3.3% for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, which covers around 10,000 Virginia residents, to 14.9% for CareFirst BlueChoice, which covers around 32,000 people in the state (Radnofsky, Wall Street Journal, 5/11).
Washington Premium Rate Filings
Meanwhile, Washington regulators also have begun publishing insurers' rate proposals, CQ HealthBeat reports. According to CQ HealthBeat, the filings show a wide variance in premium increases and changes to out-of-pocket costs. The state's insurance department will release additional filing data on Monday.
According to the initial data, insurers have requested changes in 2015 premium rates ranging from a 6.8% decrease to a 14.2% increase. Specifically, the filings show that:
- Group Health Option requested a 14.2% rate increase;
- Group Health Cooperative requested an 11.2% rate increase;
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest proposed a 0.57% increase; and
- Molina HealthCare of Washington proposed a 6.8% rate decrease.
In addition, the data show that Columbia United Providers has requested to offer a new health plan in the state.
Further, the data show insurers' requests for changes in out-of-pocket costs under the plans. For example, Molina's detailed filings showed that the company intends to increase its total cap on out-of-pocket costs for individuals who purchase silver-level exchange plans from $6,350 to $6,600. Consumers with such plans would also see their deductibles increase from $1,700 to $2,000, but they would be responsible for lower copayments for various health services.
According to CQ HealthBeat, the companies' requests still must be reviewed by regulators and are subject to change (Adams, CQ HealthBeat, 5/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.