Dave Dillon is speculating that 2017 individual health insurance rate increases might be pretty ugly, but not necessarily catastrophically ugly.
Dillon is an actuary and health insurance analyst who produces health expert interview podcasts for the Society of Actuaries (SOA). He helps regulators in seven states review rate filings. He gave his views on 2017 individual health rates in a recent commentary.
The national individual health rate filing deadline for 2017 is May 11.
Some big health insurers have reacted to the performance of the 2016 individual market by refusing to pay sales commissions on products agents sell through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) special enrollment period (SEP) process. Other insurers seem to be happy with the performance of their individual products.
A few states have posted some 2017 form and rate filings online, but it’s not clear how representative those filings are, even for those quick-posting states.
Dillon has been involved in rate-setting processes in several states, and has an idea of what the actuaries and their clients are talking about as they struggle to complete 2017 filings.
Major PPACA underwriting restrictions and benefits requirements took effect in January 2014. Some insurers have had widely reported problems setting adequate individual health rates for 2014 and 2015. But in 2013, SOA actuaries combined to publish what appears to have been a reasonably accurate forecast of how the changes would affect enrollee claims: The actuaries predicted that the PPACA rules might increase individual health rates about 29 percent.
For a look at what Dillon is saying about 2017 rates, read on.
1. We won’t really know about 2017 health rates till we know.
Dillon wants to make sure the public takes his predictions with many grains of salt.
He knows what’s happening in some states, and at some PPACA public exchange programs. But he emphasizes that he has no way of knowing what’s happening in every state.
The health needs of each state’s population vary widely, and so do state regulatory policies, Dillon says.
See also: PPACA World 2017: New York may be alive