2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

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Kentucky: *Approved* avg. 2017 rate hikes: 24.5% (vs. 23.6% requested)

When I ran Kentucky's average requested rate hike numbers for the individual market back in May, I came up with a weighted average of 23.8%, but also cautioned that the weighting was likely based on less than 50% of the total ACA-compliant individual market state-wide.

Since then, it looks like a couple of the carriers resubmitted their filings with slightly different average requests, although nothing major. In fact, even Aetna dropping off the exchange doesn't change much, since it looks like they only have around 400 enrollees there anyway (plus, Aetna says they're sticking around the off-exchange market in "most" of the regions they're bailing on next year). Finally, as far as I can tell, Kentucky is among the states that Humana is not abandoning (though they might be reducing their footprint there?).

Anyway, just moments ago, according to SHADAC, the Kentucky DOI has posted their approved rates for the individual market:

Q1 2016KY Snapshot: KY Dept. of Insurance approves base rate increases between 5.6% and 47.18% for 2017 @LynnBlewett pic.twitter.com/2XpBnwvV3o

— SHADAC (@SHADAC) August 18, 2016

At first glance, this looks like a small but definite chipping away at the average rate increase--from 29.4% to 27.3%, including a significant cut to Golden Rule.

Unfortunately, the "average" listed at the bottom is unweighted...it simply adds up all of the carrier numbers and divides by 6. This is a problem because Anthem BCBS holds something like 78% of Kentucky's individual market, while Golden Rule has less than 1%.

When I update the requested hikes into the weighted spreadshett, the average comes out slightly lower than I had it before (23.6% instead of 23.8%)...while the approved weighted average comes in at 24.5% (vs. the 27.3% shown above).

This can be taken as either good or bad news depending on your POV...it's lower than what SHADAC's unweighted average shows, but 0.7 percentage points higher than the weighted requested average which I had originally estimated:

I now have the weighted average approved rate hikes for 6 states representing about 7% of the total population. These 6 states average 18% overall.

UPDATE: OK, I've found the actual KY DOI document detailing the approved rate changes. It also clarifies a few other details, including the approved small group rate changes and which carriers are on exchange/off exchange/both: