2017 Rate Request Early Look: Hawaii

As I noted Monday morning, I believe that August 1st was the deadline for every state to submit their 2017 rate filings, meaning that the 14 states missing from my Requested Rate Hike Project are finally available to be plugged into the spreadsheet. I'll also be going back through the other states I've been tracking since as early as April to see which ones require updates due to carriers dropping out, joining in or resubmitting their rate requests.

There are only two insurance carriers participating in Hawaii's individual market next year: The Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) and the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.

With only 2 carriers, Hawaii's table should be pretty cut and dry...but there's a huge discrepancy between what the Rate Review website claims is HMSA's "average requested increase" and what it actually says in the filings. They submitted two of them: One for HMOs, one for PPOs. According to the website, the requests average 11.85% and 13.73%...averaging perhaps 12.8% overall...

...however, the actual filing clearly and unmistakably states that the average request is much higher: 43.3%.

I have no idea what's going on here, but am going to err on the side of caution and assume that 43.3% is the correct requested rate hike.

Meanwhile, Kaiser is asking for a still-unpleasant 25.9% hike, although the enrollment figure dates back to last December instead of the current number, which remains unknown.