Early Price Filings Present Premium Will increase, Rising Prices of Care


The Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies (CMS) has printed proposed charge modifications for 2024 Market plans. In some states, insurers submitted charge requests earlier in the summertime, alongside justifications for the proposed modifications to subsequent 12 months’s premiums. These filings reveal developments in underlying well being care prices and client habits, in addition to illuminating previous and projected results of state and federal reforms on market dynamics. CHIR dug into the speed requests* from choose states with early charge submitting deadlines—the District of Columbia (DC), Maryland, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington—to see what’s behind the premiums customers could possibly be going through in 2024, each on- and off-Market.

Most Insurers Requested to Improve Charges

The overwhelming majority of insurers in our pattern are searching for greater premiums for his or her particular person market plans. In these 5 states, premium requests for plan 12 months 2024 ranged from a median 3.4 % lower to a median 18.5 % improve (see desk).

Desk. Common Proposed Particular person Market Price Modifications in Choose States (Plan Yr 2024)

State Highest common charge request (%) Lowest common charge request (%)
DC 18.5 (CareFirst HMO) 9.9 (CareFirst PPO)
Maryland 8.0 (Kaiser) -2.0 (United, Optimum Selection)
Oregon 8.5 (Windfall) 3.5 (PacificSource)
Vermont 15.5 (Blue Cross Blue Protect of Vermont) 12.8 (MVP)
Washington 17.9 (Kaiser Basis Well being Plan of Washington) -3.4 (Asuris)

Supply: particular person market charge submitting summaries printed by DC, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington, and creator’s evaluation of Vermont charge filings, for plan 12 months 2024.*

Insurers justified proposed will increase by citing plenty of contributing components, together with rising care prices, client utilization patterns, revenue margins, threat adjustment expectations, and unfavorable claims expertise. Filings additionally confirmed attention-grabbing, if not combined outcomes for the impression of some state and federal insurance policies, in addition to the results of the pandemic. A few of these themes are explored additional beneath.

At all times On-Pattern

Pattern—the mixture of modifications to well being care prices and enrollee utilization patterns—continues to be a main driver of proposed charge hikes. For instance, development accounts for almost two-thirds of Blue Cross Blue Protect of Vermont’s proposed 15.5 % charge improve and virtually 80 % of the 9.9 % improve requested by CareFirst’s PPO line of enterprise in DC. Insurers continuously attributed development will increase to the rising value of medical providers and prescribed drugs. Nonetheless, projected will increase in utilization, similar to greater pharmacy profit use, nonetheless contributed to proposed charge will increase.

Some filings illustrated the impression of insurer contracting practices on value, and in the end development and premiums. In Washington State, Premera Blue Cross detailed how well being programs that account for the overwhelming majority of claims are asking for giant will increase in reimbursement—some within the double digits—and “have proven a willingness to permit our contracts to run out” in the event that they don’t get the reimbursement ranges they demand. The speed submitting additionally states that “restricted competitors and regional monopolies” contributes to greater prices. Additionally in Washington State, Coordinated Care broke down modifications in well being care prices by community, indicating that the impression of unit prices on premiums is decrease for the community serving enrollees in its public option-style plan providing—which is topic to state limitations on supplier reimbursements—than within the insurer’s different plan community within the state.

In comparison with Prior Years, COVID-19 is a Bit Participant

COVID-19 continues to play a job in insurers’ charge filings, albeit a smaller one. Not like prior years’ early charge proposals, the impression of the COVID-19 pandemic was not prominently featured in insurers’ 2024 filings. Many insurers within the reviewed filings didn’t point out the pandemic in any respect. Some filings indicated that pandemic-related uncertainties and abnormalities prompted modifications to their historic expertise (which informs their 2024 charge requests), however didn’t recommend that COVID-19 can be a price driver subsequent 12 months. Insurers that predicted an impression from COVID-19 projected solely a small impact on premiums, usually stemming from modifications because of the expiration of the federal pandemic-related public well being emergency. These insurers usually both elevated charges based mostly on anticipated will increase in the price of vaccines for payers, because of the elimination of federal manufacturing subsidies, or decreased charges due to COVID-19 protection insurance policies which have expired, such because the requirement to cowl testing with out value sharing. In Washington State, Molina’s submitting steered that these two dynamics would offset one another. Kaiser Basis Well being Plan of Washington described an expectation that utilization would improve in 2023 and 2024 “because the impression of COVID-19 continues to put on off.”

Some insurers did predict some lasting, secondary impacts of the pandemic. Oregon regulators particularly requested insurers about how utilization behaviors have modified with customers switching again to in-person care as COVID-19 circumstances dropped. A number of insurers talked about the continued recognition of telehealth, however some famous that they haven’t seen preventive service use return to pre-pandemic ranges.

The Impression of Medicaid Redeterminations is Unclear

April marked the top of a federal coverage permitting Medicaid enrollees with modifications in program eligibility to stay enrolled. States have begun the method of Medicaid redeterminations, or “unwinding” this steady protection coverage, and thousands and thousands of individuals have already misplaced their medical insurance. Whereas many individuals shedding Medicaid will likely be eligible for sponsored Market protection, that transition doesn’t seem to have an effect on proposed charges in these 5 states although the transition course of is anticipated to prolong into 2024.

In Maryland and DC filings, CareFirst explicitly excluded the premium impression of the unwinding, reserving the correct to vary its proposal through the evaluation course of to account for the results of Medicaid redeterminations. In Windfall Well being Plan’s submitting in Washington State, actuaries famous that, along with an expectation that the insurer wouldn’t obtain enrollees from this inhabitants, they lacked “any quantitative proof that helps a change in [Providence Health Plan] premium charges can be warranted.” Group Well being Plan of Washington’s submitting mentioned the unwinding’s impression on the chance pool was “immaterial” to their charge proposal.

Nonetheless, some filings predict modest modifications to membership or morbidity based mostly on redeterminations. For instance, in Oregon, BridgeSpan indicated that Medicaid enrollees transitioning to the Market through the unwinding can be comparatively sicker. However, Blue Cross Blue Protect of Vermont, which predicted an extra 1,609 new enrollees by the start of 2024 attributable to Medicaid redeterminations, steered these new members wouldn’t impression the insurer’s threat rating.

Reinsurance Stays Reassuring

Filings present that state reinsurance applications proceed to carry down insurers’ premium requests. Reinsurance applications stop high-cost claims incurred by insurers from driving up premiums by masking a portion of the claims. A number of states have established reinsurance applications utilizing a 1332 Waiver below the Reasonably priced Care Act (ACA). In Oregon, insurers submitting particular person charges credited the state’s reinsurance program with holding down premiums. Windfall Well being Plan, for example, decreased their claims expertise by 8.6 % due to Oregon’s reinsurance program.

State of Play: Insurers Predict the Impression of Washington State’s 1332 Waiver

Washington State requested insurers submitting particular person market charge requests to estimate the impression of the state’s new 1332 Waiver, which is able to develop entry to Market protection to undocumented residents in 2024. Many insurers submitting charges for 2024 indicated that the Waiver wouldn’t impression their estimated enrollment or collected premiums subsequent 12 months, however others steered that this new pool of Market enrollees would put some downward stress on premiums. For instance, each PacificSource and Kaiser Basis Well being Plan of the Northwest predicted that premiums can be decrease below the Waiver in comparison with premiums with out the Waiver. Coordinated Care indicated the Waiver would improve membership and reduce total morbidity, leading to decrease charges than a non-Waiver state of affairs. However, Group Well being Plan of Washington famous that, whereas enrollment is anticipated to extend considerably below the Waiver, the insurer doesn’t anticipate any premium impression.


Whereas the pandemic and coverage modifications proceed to maintain us on our toes, some market dynamics are steadfast, just like the rising value of American well being care. As development continues to drive premium will increase, policymakers are searching for reforms to enhance transparency and include prices. Fortunately, many customers will likely be largely shielded from premium will increase attributable to expanded federal premium subsidies below the American Rescue Plan Act and Inflation Discount Act. Nonetheless, the charge evaluation course of stays an vital instrument to maintain premium will increase in test, and defend customers’ entry to reasonably priced, complete medical insurance.

*Writer’s be aware: evaluation of early charge filings was largely restricted to the narratives within the actuarial memoranda that accompany charge filings, which clarify in lay language insurers’ assumptions for the upcoming plan 12 months based mostly on previous expertise and projected modifications. Evaluate was additionally restricted to a set of states that posted charge filings comparatively early in comparison with different states. The findings summarized on this weblog aren’t essentially generalizable to the broader universe of particular person charge filings for plan 12 months 2024, nor do they mirror all the components underlying charge requests or variations between insurers submitting particular person market charges on this set of states.


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