START OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD

Time: D H M S

PRO TIP: Cite Your Sources.

In yesterday's New Hampshire Business Review, a reporter named Bob Sanders has written an excellent piece about the 2017 Open Enrollment Period situation in the Granite State:

As the dust settles on the Affordable Care Act, New Hampshire is feeling tremors from shifts occurring nationally, although the state’s health care landscape is more stable than the rest of the country. 

About a quarter of the nation, geographically, and around 17 percent, demographically, only have one insurer on the exchange, meaning less competition on rates, and therefore higher costs. Over the past year, UnitedHealthcare, Aetna and Humana have pulled out of the markets in most states, not getting the healthy populations they expected.

It's a good article, full of stats, figures, context and quotes. THere's even a nifty pie chart showing the relative market share of the carriers and so on.

Only one problem; can you spot it?

Proposed changes to individual rates average 11 percent, less than half of those proposed in the rest of the country, according to one analysis, but both figures could be misleading. As noted by White, New England had higher rates to begin with, so this could mean that the rest of the country is just catching up.

Secondly, an analysis of approved rates in selected states show actual rates going up about 9 percent. And New Hampshire numbers included sharp increases by CHO and Minuteman, which indicated that the approved rates will be a lot lower.        

Now, perhaps this is just my ego getting to me, but I'd say there's a pretty good chance that the source of the first analysis (11% in NH, 'less than half' that of the rest of the country) is myself.

I could be wrong about this, of course...but I have no way of knowing, because he didn't bother citing his source. Even if he isn't gonna link to it, he should've at least mentioned it somewhere (in the body or the footnotes).

And I'm further guessing that the source of the second analysis (9% in selected states) is likely the Kaiser Family Foundation, referring to benchmark silver plans only, I'm less certain about that one (he specifies that these are approved rates, but the KFF study was done back in July...but again, without citation there's no way of knowing this either.

Anyway, as good of an article as it is otherwise, it doesn't include the approved rates for New Hampshire, which is all I was looking for in the first place, so there you go.