END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (41 states)

Time: D H M S

REMINDER: CoveredCA to reveal 2016 rates today (Monday); est. 1.60M QHP selections to date

Over the past couple of months, the proposed 2016 individual & small business market premium rate filings have mostly been released. These are requests only, and have yet to be approved by state regulators in most states (Oregon and Kentucky are the only ones I know of which have actually approved theirs so far), but it at least gives us a general idea of where things are likely to stand next year.

One major exception to the above so far, however, has been California. The Golden State has been conspicuously absent in all of the 2016 Rate Review fuss so far. The rate review tool on their own insurance commissioner website only runs through 2015, and plugging in 01/01/2016 for California at HealthCare.Gov's rate review site brings up nothing either.

Given that CA is the largest state in the country (over 12% of the total population of the United States), has the largest total individual market in the country (14% of the national total in 2014) and that CoveredCA has the 2nd largest number of effectuated enrollments on the ACA exchanges nationally (13.4% of the national total as of 3/31/15), its absence is kind of a big deal.

Fortunately, it looks like that piece of the puzzle will be filled in on Monday, according to this press release just sent out an hour ago:

COVERED CALIFORNIA UNVEILS 2016 RATES AND HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES

WHAT: Covered California will announce its rates for 2016 and unveil which plans will be a part of the marketplace.

...WHEN: Monday, July 27, 2015, 11 a.m. PDT

Of course, not every policy (or company) will be included on the ACA exchange itself, so Monday's announcement may leave off about 40% of the individual market rates, but I'm assuming the off-exchange rates will be posted at around the same time as well.

CoveredCA rates only went up 4.2% on weighted average this year, but of course that means nothing for 2016. Anthem jacked up rates 25% on 170,000 "grandfathered" (ie, non-ACA compliant) policies earlier this year, and in California the state insurance commissioner can't legally veto excessive rate hikes anyway (thanks to CA voters being jaw-droppingly dense about the issue last fall), so who the heck knows?

UPDATE 7/27/15 12:15pm:

OK, the 2016 CoveredCA rates should be announced less than 2 hours from now. I'm hoping that they'll also include updated enrollment numbers while they're at it. The most-recent numbers out of California were as of May 10th, where exhange enrollments stood at:

  • 1,342,956 currently effectuated QHP enrollees as of the end of March, 2015
  • 1,529,224 total QHP selections as of May 10th, 2015

Assuming my estimates are correct, as of now CoveredCA should be at roughly:

  • 1.37 million currently effectuated QHP enrollees
  • 1.60 million total QHP selections

We'll find out (or not) in a couple of hours...