Division of Insurance releases preliminary 2017 health insurance information

Tuesday, June 07, 2016 01:29 PM
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Nine insurers ask for rate increases

The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) released the preliminary information for proposed health plans and premiums for 2017. Four insurance companies either will not offer or will significantly cut back individual plans next year. A new entrant into the Colorado market will sell plans in the individual market. And a number of companies currently offering individual plans are seeking significant premium increases for their 2017 individual plans.

“As we prepare for the fourth open enrollment of the Affordable Care Act, it’s worth noting that we’re still in the stabilization phase,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar in a June 6 DOI release. “Companies are still figuring it out — where to sell, how to sell, how to price — which is why we’re seeing some companies pull back on individual plans or requesting significant increases, while still other companies are coming into the market. Some companies have done a better job of figuring out how to operate in this new environment and compete for people’s business, while others must step back and reevaluate their approach.” 

Of note:

  • UnitedHealthcare and Humana Insurance will not offer individual plans in 2017, affecting roughly 20,000 consumers.
  • Rocky Mountain Health Plans will reduce individual plan offerings for 2017, offering individual plans only in Mesa County and only through its Monument Health affiliate, affecting roughly 10,000 consumers.
  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will not offer its PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) individual plans for 2017, affecting roughly 62,000 people.
  • The new entrant into the market, Bright Health Plans, will sell individual plans both on and off the state exchange, Connect for Health Colorado.

The approximately 92,000 people with individual plans from UnitedHealthcare, Humana Insurance, RMHP and Anthem will need to find other coverage for 2017 during open enrollment, Nov. 1, 2016 - Jan. 31, 2017. This represents approximately 20 percent of the 450,000 Coloradans who get their insurance through the individual market, either through Connect for Health Colorado or off the exchange. Those 450,000 consumers with plans in the individual market represent approximately 7.7 percent of Coloradans. At least 51 percent of people in Colorado, around 2.8 million, continue to get their health insurance through an employer. 

Premium increases

For the individual market in 2017, many companies have requested significant premium increases. “In general, the companies have indicated that the people enrolled in individual plans have used more health care services and with greater frequency than anticipated,” Commissioner Salazar said in the release. “While the DOI will evaluate information provided by the companies to determine if their requested premium increases are correct, all of us in the industry must tackle the more pressing question of what is driving the increased health costs in the individual market that lead to higher premiums.” 

Medical - INDIVIDUAL Plans, Average REQUESTED Premium Change

CompanyRequested Overall Change
Golden Rule40.6%
Colorado Choice36.33%
Rocky Mountain HMO34.6%
Anthem BCBS (HMO Colorado)26.8%
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado13.6%
Freedom Life Insurance9.98%
National Foundation Life9.98%
Denver Health0.08%

DOI staff will review each plan to make sure it complies with the Affordable Care Act and state laws and will release final information by early October.

Posted in: ASAP | Practice Evolution | Payment Reform | Interacting With Payers


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