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|Division of Insurance releases preliminary 2017 health insurance information|
|Final approval expected in late September / early October.|
|DENVER – The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), today released the preliminary information for proposed health plans and premiums for 2017.
The DOI confirmed that four insurance companies either will not offer or will significantly cut back individual plans (non-employer) 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. “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.”
Rocky Mountain Health Plans / Anthem PPO
In addition, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield decided it will not offer its PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) individual plans for 2017, which impacts 62,310 people. However, Anthem will continue to offer HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) individual plans statewide, and these plans will be available to all consumers affected by the PPO decision.
All of these companies will continue to offer their small and large group plans for employers.
Rocky Mountain Health Plans has been a key player in the mountain areas and Western Slope, and its departure from the individual market will leave many areas with only one on-exchange insurance company — Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s HMO division – for individual plans.
“I’d rather these companies continued in the individual market,” noted Commissioner Salazar. “But in the larger picture, what’s taking place is a market correction; the free market is at work. And it is important to recognize that this is a market correction taking place on a national scale, not just in Colorado. While it was good initially to have so many companies offering so many individual plans, this could be an indication that there were too many options for the market to support.”
“It’s also important to highlight that we are not seeing this market correction in the small group market,” continued the Commissioner. “In many ways, that market seems to be stable.”
Number of People Impacted
Bright Health Plans
“Where others have experienced challenges, Bright sees opportunity with what they believe is an innovative approach,” said Commissioner Salazar. “They are focusing on efficient delivery of quality care through a healthcare partner. This echoes what RMHP is doing through its Monument Health program, and what UnitedHealthcare is doing in other states with its subsidiary, Harken Health. It seems what the market needs is innovation rather than the old operating model.”
Premium Increases Ahead for the Individual Market
“In general, the companies have indicated that the people enrolled in individual plans have used more healthcare services and with greater frequency than anticipated,” said Commissioner Salazar. “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.”
In the small group market, companies are requesting single-digit increases or even decreases. “We should not lose site of the positive news in the small group market, even while we work to gain an understanding of what’s happening in the individual market,” noted the Commissioner.
Responding to the Changes
The Rate Review Process
Submitting Public Comments
Tips on filing an online comment: When viewing the filings online, there will be a section for comments within each filing. Click on the “Add” link in the “Comments” column of the filing of interest. The user will be prompted to enter his/her name, city and state of residence, email address, and the comment.
After DOI completes its review and analysis in late September / early October, it will notify carriers and Connect for Health Colorado of the approved plans for 2017. At that time, the DOI will also provide summary information and analysis regarding the carriers and plans for 2017.
NOTE – The information below on the number of plans and carriers and the requested premium changes for 2017 is preliminary. The information only reflects what the carriers have requested, not the final approved plans for 2017. Any requested rate has to be justified by the insurance carrier.
Number of Individual & Small Group Plans for 2017
Number of Carriers On / Off-Exchange for 2017
Medical – INDIVIDUAL Plans, Average REQUESTED Premium Change, by Company
* Averaged over all individual plans a company proposes to sell, in all areas of Colorado where the company does business, for all ages.
Medical – SMALL GROUP Plans, Average REQUESTED Premium Change, by Company
* Averaged over all small group plans a company proposes to sell, in all areas of Colorado where the company does business, for all ages.
|DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit www.dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855/toll free 1-800-886-7675.