Wednesday, May 18, 2016

New York's 2015, 2016 and 2017 Obamacare Rate Increases

New York just announced the 2017 requested rate increases for individual health insurance.

I thought the history of New York's increases was interesting.
For 2015, the exchange health plans asked for an average increase of 12.5%. The New York Insurance Department approved an average 5.7% increase.

Here are the requested and approved rate increases for 2016 (from Charles Gaba):


Here are the 2017 requested rate increases (asterisk means the company offers on the state exchange) recently announced by the New York Insurance Department:

I suggest looking at the biggest market share carriers and noting the consecutive rate increases they requested. The "weighted average" also attempts to factor market share in.

A lot of people will say this is not a big deal because the vast majority of consumers buying Obamacare individual market health insurance policies get a subsidy and are therefore protected from these big increases.

Here is the CBO's March estimate of the size of the national individual health insurance market. They estimate, in 2016, an average of two million people won't get a subsidy on the exchange and 11 million in the individual market won't get a subsidy off-exchange (the exchange is the only place you can get a subsidy).

For 2017, they estimate that, both on and off the exchanges, 12 million will get a subsidy and 12 million won't:


So, lots of people pay the full premium for these plans because they do not qualify for a subsidy.

Let me also suggest that people don't pay rate increases--they pay premiums.

Using eHealth, I found that the cheapest unsubsidized 2016 Obamacare qualified health plan (QHP) offered to a single person, age 40, in Syracuse (Zip 13290), New York was this one:

For a family of four with mom and dad age 40, the cheapest plan was this one:

Proponents of Obamacare will point to rate increases lower than New York's average of 17.3% and argue that consumers can lower their costs by switching carriers. For example, they might point to MVP's average increase of 6.1%.

But MVP is the health insurer above. After that 6.1% average increase they are still charging this family $1,158.10 a month--$13,897.20 a year for the cheapest Silver Plan available in this market!!
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