END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (Connecticut & Maryland)

Time: D H M S

Maine: *Approved* avg. 2017 rate hikes: 23.6% (vs. 23.9% requested)

I originally estimated Maine's 2017 avg. rate hike requests back in May. At the time, I came up with a weighted average of 20.7% based on the original rate filings:

Since then there have been two major changes: First, Aetna, which had been planning on entering the Maine ACA exchange, infamously pulled a complete 180 and not only decided not to expand, but actually pulled out of the exchange in most of the states they're already in. This doesn't really impact Maine since they were only available off-exchange anyway. The second change does, however: Several of the carriers submitted revised requests, pushing the average up higher, to 23.9%.

It turns out the various revisions were approved by the Maine dept. of insurance, mostly as is, although they did shave 1.4 points off of Anthem BCBS:

The Maine Bureau of Insurance this week approved double-digit increases for the three insurers offering Affordable Care Act individual marketplace plans.

The bureau – which regulates rate requests by insurance companies – gave the OK Wednesday to a 25.5 percent increase for customers of Community Health Options, 21.1 percent for Harvard Pilgrim and 18 percent for Anthem. The rates still must be approved by the federal government and most of the increases will be offset by subsidies for those who qualify for government assistance.

Here's what the revised numbers (both requested and approved) look like. Note that I haven't found the approved rates for the two off-exchange-only carriers (Aetna and HPHC), but these only have 900 people enrolled between them, amounting to just 1% of Maine's total individual market, so any difference between the requested and approved rates for them would amount to barely a rounding error statewide:

The bottom line is that Maine's approved average rates are slightly lower than requested...but nearly 3 points higher than the original estimates I had back in May.