START OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD

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Illinois: *Approved* rate hikes look to be pretty much in line with the requests

Usually when state regulators publicize their approved rate changes for carriers on the independent market, they list the various carriers and the approved average rate changes for each. I then simply plug these into my existing spreadsheet and get a before/after comparison against how much the carriers actually requested.

In the case of illinois, it's a little trickier. Unless I'm missing something, the only official notice the IL DOI has released is this PDF, which--while including lots of useful info about rating areas and so forth--doesn't actually list the overall statewide average approved rate increases by carrier.

Instead, it lists the averages based on metal level, and even then doesn't list all of the plans, just selected ones: Lowest-price Bronze, Lowest and 2nd Lowest-price Silver, and Lowest-price Gold, like so:

However, this is far more useful than you might thing for a couple of reasons. First, less than 0.5% of all of Illinois' 2016 enrollees chose Catastrophic plans this year, and no one chose a Platinum plan (I'm not sure if this is because there weren't any available or if it's just that no one was interested, but whatever). Furthermore, I believe most people choose the "benchmark" plan (2nd cheapest Silver) in most states, so the odds are good that those 4 options (lowest Bronze, lowest/2nd-lowest Silver and lowest Gold) cover the vast majority of the Illinois market. Unfortunately, off-exchange numbers aren't available here, but I have to go with the data I have on hand.

WIth that in mind, I can consult the March 31st Effectuated Exchange Enrollment report to figure out the ratio of the three metal levels. 29% chose Bronze, 61% chose Silver and 10% chose Gold plans. If I split the Silver plans between the lowest & 2nd lowest-price plans, here's what it looks like:

It actually doesn't much matter what the Silver split is, since the average approved rate hike is almost the same anyway (45% and 43%). Bronze plans are 44%, and Gold only makes up 10% of the total, so the overall approved rate hikes end up right around 45.1% regardless.

As you can see, this may technically be lower than the 46% requested, but it's hardly worth crowing about. As far as I can tell, all of the carrier requests were approved pretty much as is.