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PPACA 2017: Cigna might sell through Virginia exchange

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The Virginia Bureau of Insurance is starting to give the public a peek at early 2017 individual major medical rate filings.

A look at the smattering of filings now available online suggests that Golden Rule, a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), may leave Virginia’s arm of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchange system, but that it will continue to sell individual health coverage outside of the exchange system.

See also: UnitedHealth quitting PPACA exchange programs in Georgia, Arkansas

Golden Rule says in a rate filing that it expects to increase its individual rates an average of about 63 percent, in part because the 37 covered lives it had in 2015 generated an average of about $17,000 claims each, which produced a loss ratio of 207.9 percent.

The company says it’s hoping to collect about $582 in premium revenue per month in 2017.

Cigna Health & Life Insurance Company, a unit of Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI), which made a point of minimizing its participation in the PPACA exchange system during the system’s first three years of operation, appears to be on track to offer individual coverage through the Virginia exchange.

Virginia lets the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ system run its exchange.

“The plans represented in this filing will be guaranteed issue & guaranteed renewable and are to be marketed through, brokers, general agents, and directly to consumers,” the company says in an actuarial memorandum.

See also: S&P analysts: Individual health still attractive

Cigna’s filing shows that the company plans to charge plan-adjusted index rates ranging from about $328 per member per month to about $511 per member per month. The rates include an assumption that administrative expenses will amount to 10.8 percent of the premiums. Some of that amount could go to pay compensation to agents and brokers, the company says.

Optima Health, a company that’s selling individual coverage in Virginia only in the off-exchange market this year, seems to be on track to continue that strategy in 2017. A filing for off-exchange products shows the company is proposing to increase off-exchange individual rates an average of 13.5 percent.

Freedom Life, another company that has been selling and will continue to sell individual coverage in Virginia only in the off-exchange market, says it expects to increase individual rates an average of 9.98 percent.

Piedmont Community Healthcare, a company that sells coverage through, is proposing an average rate increase of 24.9 percent.

Charles Gaba of, who wrote about the Virginia 2017 individual health filings Tuesday, noted that early filings for 2016 suggested that typical individual health rates might rise more than 40 percent in 2016, but that the actual average increase was closer to 8 percent.

See also:

Cigna exchange plans ‘not a profit driver’


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