More clues about next year’s individual health insurance product menus seeped out today, as issuers in many states rushed to meet a HealthCare.gov rate proposal filing deadline.
See also: PPACA World 2017: Filing Day!
Filing a product application does not commit an insurer to actually selling the product. As state insurance regulators were going through the filings, a U.S. District Court judge in the District of Columbia issued a ruling that could throw off the federal cost-sharing reduction subsidy assumptions that issuers used when developing their proposals.
But Aetna (NYSE:AET) told reporters from the Wall Street Journal that it has filed rates in all of the 15 states in which it now sells individual exchange plan coverage, and that it will expand into additional state exchange programs.
Here are some more 2017 individual menu highlights we found today on the Web:
California: The board of Covered California, a state-based Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange, is including a 2017 increase assumption of 8 percent in its budget projections.
District of Columbia: The locally based D.C. exchange, DC Health Link, is unique, because its small-group division provides health coverage for many members of Congress and many top congressional aides. The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking says that all four insurers that have been selling through the district’s locally based group exchange this year — Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealth(NYSE:UNH) — have filed small-group products for 2017.
Rates changes range from a decrease of 4.4 percent to an increase of 11. 4 percent. CareFirst and Kaiser, the 2016 individual coverage issuers, are returning. Their rate changes range from none to an increase of 13.3 percent.
Florida: The Palm Beach Post is reporting that Florida regulators are treating individual carriers’ proposed 2017 rate increases as trade secrets. But regulators revealed that 15 issuers have filed products, with an average proposed premium increase is 17.7 percent.
Iowa: The Gazette is reporting that Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is going ahead with previously announced plans to start selling coverage through the Iowa exchange program, which is operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) HealthCare.gov system. Wellmark is increasing premiums for the 30,000 consumers who have bought individual PPACA-compliant coverage outside of the exchange system an average of 38 to 43 percent.
Kansas: Ken Selzer, the state’s insurance commissioner, says two units of UnitedHealth are leaving that state’s individual health market, both on and off the exchange, at the end of the year. BlueCross BlueShield Kansas Solutions will continue to sell individual products through HealthCare.gov in 103 counties, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City will continue to sell plans through HealthCare.gov in Johnson County and Wyandotte County. Medica Insurance Company of Minnesota and Coventry, a unit of Aetna, have applied to start selling individual products in Kansas both on and off the exchange, Selzer says. Medica will be using the Mayo Clinic as a center for excellence. At press time, rate filings for the returning issuers were not available on the Web.
Tennessee: The state’s public access portal on the System for Electronic Rate and Form Filing (SERFF) shows that BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI), Humana (NYSE:HUM), Freedom Life Insurance Company of America and TRH, a Farm Bureau affiliate, have all applied for permission to sell individual products in at least part of the state. Freedom Life says its premiums will be going up by an average of 17 percent. TRH intends to increase its rates an average of 29 percent. Rate filings for Aetna, Cigna and Tennessee Blue were not available through the SERFF system.
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