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2015 health insurance premium increase
Old 06-03-2014, 07:10 PM   #1
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2015 health insurance premium increase

The two individual health insurers in Vermont made filings for 2015 health insurance premiums today. The major insurer, BCBS, proposed an overall 9.8% increase with specific plans increasing from 4.8% to 11.3%.

Most of the 9.8% increase is attributed to ACA (mostly lower federal subsidies and fees). Absent mandated ACA changes, the requested increase would have been 3.3%.

It looks like the plan I have will have a 4.8% increase, which is actually lower than the premium increases the last two years for a similar HDHI plan with the same carrier and still substantially less than the COBRA three years ago from my former employer for their HDHI plan which is what I did my retirement budget based on, so overall, I'm happy with the result.

If anyone is interested in the details, click here.

Any other intelligence on 2015 premium increase out there at this point?
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:12 PM   #2
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I have been reading they will vary state to state but maybe not as much as initially feared. I'm still eagerly waiting whether my provider will continue the underwritten plans for 2 more years that the president allowed a few months ago. As for me, that could be the difference between paying $85 or so a month for a $5500 deductible and over $300 for a $6500 deductible. It certainly wouldn't offend me to not have to pay for maternity costs two more years since I have been anatomically unable to since birth.


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Old 06-03-2014, 11:07 PM   #3
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It certainly wouldn't offend me to not have to pay for maternity costs two more years since I have been anatomically unable to since birth.
I can certainly relate. I wish I didn't have to pay salaries of teachers to educate kids I don't have.

Just sayin.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
The two individual health insurers in Vermont made filings for 2015 health insurance premiums today. The major insurer, BCBS, proposed an overall 9.8% increase with specific plans increasing from 4.8% to 11.3%.

Most of the 9.8% increase is attributed to ACA (mostly lower federal subsidies and fees). Absent mandated ACA changes, the requested increase would have been 3.3%.

It looks like the plan I have will have a 4.8% increase, which is actually lower than the premium increases the last two years for a similar HDHI plan with the same carrier and still substantially less than the COBRA three years ago from my former employer for their HDHI plan which is what I did my retirement budget based on, so overall, I'm happy with the result.

If anyone is interested in the details, click here.

Any other intelligence on 2015 premium increase out there at this point?
I know in the case of some insurance products (e.g. LTCI) that asking for a certain amount does not mean you are getting it. Is this the case with health insurance as well? Could the insurer be asking for 10% but expecting to actually be allowed 6 or 7%?
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:08 AM   #5
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The regulators usually nibble at the rates a bit as part of the approval process. I think BCBS is usually pretty prudent in what they ask be the approved rates last year were slightly lower. My impression is that the difference between requested and approved rates in HI is less than other types of insurance.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:18 AM   #6
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I know in the case of some insurance products (e.g. LTCI) that asking for a certain amount does not mean you are getting it. Is this the case with health insurance as well? Could the insurer be asking for 10% but expecting to actually be allowed 6 or 7%?
My understanding is that only increases over 10% need to be justified and approved, except for plans that were grandfathered in which don't need any rate increase approval. According to the latest data I saw since 2012 only 36% of those request were approved outright. Probably should expect to see a lot of 9.9% increases. In any case they still have to meet the 80/20 medical loss ration or they'll be sending out rebate checks.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I know in the case of some insurance products (e.g. LTCI) that asking for a certain amount does not mean you are getting it. Is this the case with health insurance as well? Could the insurer be asking for 10% but expecting to actually be allowed 6 or 7%?
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
The regulators usually nibble at the rates a bit as part of the approval process. I think BCBS is usually pretty prudent in what they ask be the approved rates last year were slightly lower. My impression is that the difference between requested and approved rates in HI is less than other types of insurance.
I think it depends on the state and the number of insurers in the individual marketplace and, just as we see a wide range of premiums, we will also see a pretty wide range of price increases. Users need to remember that we already have a 4% increase built into the premium because of the age factor.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:58 AM   #8
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My understanding is that only increases over 10% need to be justified and approved, except for plans that were grandfathered in which don't need any rate increase approval. According to the latest data I saw since 2012 only 36% of those request were approved outright. Probably should expect to see a lot of 9.9% increases. In any case they still have to meet the 80/20 medical loss ration or they'll be sending out rebate checks.
Not in my state, all increases are scrutinized and require approval.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:59 AM   #9
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...Users need to remember that we already have a 4% increase built into the premium because of the age factor.
Vermont premiums are not age rated, they are the same for all adults, (haven't been age-rated for many years) so that is not part of the premium increase here.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:57 PM   #10
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In Ohio the numbers for the major players all seem to be below 9% (average). Some of the small companies that insure very few people had higher numbers. So depending on you political leanings you can make a case for either:
  • rate increase is lower than usual
  • rate increase is higher than usual

And only days after the data is available, both are happening here.
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