Access Health CT rates up sharply, CID review and competition helped

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Today’s CT Health Insurance Exchange/Access Health CT board meeting included a report from Wakely actuaries hired by the exchange to review rate proposals from health plans applying to offer coverage in the exchange. According to Wakely, plans have filed numerous revisions lowering their rate proposals, largely in response to each other and questions from the CT Insurance Dept. in their review. Despite that, in contrast to many other state exchanges, unsubsidized rates will be rising sharply from this year’s level. In examples comparing 2013 premiums with 2014 for five consumer examples, impact varied considerably. For example, single males age 21 not eligible for subsidies (over $45,900 annual income) can expect premiums to more than double for a bronze plan. Half the examples of people eligible for modest subsidies will also see their premiums rise, also more than doubling for that single young man now at 350% of the Federal Poverty Level. However some consumers eligible for the most generous subsidies, may see no premiums. While assumptions the rates are based on vary widely between plans, the final rates are remarkably similar with fairly little price difference between plans. Most plans that will be offered on the exchange are bronze level (covering 60% of medical costs on average). Of the individual coverage examples given by Wakely, the lowest premium cost was from Aetna in 14 of 15 examples.
In other news, the exchange announced they have hired a director for the All Payer Claims Database, Tamim Ahmed, PhD Economics. He has experience in data analysis and risk adjusting rates.