END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (Connecticut & Maryland)

Time: D H M S

South Dakota: RATE-HIKE-A-PALOOZA! Six more states added at once!

Protect Our Care is a healthcare advocacy coalition created last December to help fight back against the GOP's attempts to repeal, sabotage and otherwise undermine the Affordable Care Act. This morning they released a report which compiled the approved 2018 individual market rate increases across over two dozen states.

Needless to say, they found that the vast majority of the state insurance regulators and/or carriers themselves are pinning a large chunk (and in some cases, nearly all) of the rate hikes for next year specifically on Trump administration sabotage efforts...primarily uncertainty over CSR payment reimbursements and, to a lesser extent, uncertainty over enforcement of the individual mandate penalty.

Anyone who follows this site knows that this is hardly shocking news; I've been laser-focused on this issue for the past five months or so. I've already compiled and broken out the average rate increases for 22 of the 28 states covered by the Protect Our Care report. The average increases in my spreadsheets differ from some of the numbers in the POC report because I also include the off-exchange ACA-compliant market (which isn't always included in the sources cited by POC's report), and because I make sure to weight the averages by relative carrier enrollment share of the market. For these reasons, the Protect Our Care report normally wouldn't have caught my eye, though obviously it's a good thing for the sabotage issue to get more exposure.

However, POC has also tracked down the approved rate increases for six additional states which I hadn't yet compiled...which makes this exciting to a healthcare data nerd like myself! They've helped me fill in the blanks for Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota and Utah. So without further ado, here's South Dakota:

POC links to this article in the Argus Leader:

South Dakotans who buy insurance policies through the federal exchange can expect rates to again climb next year, though a last-ditch effort in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act could change those projections.

The two providers in the state that plan to offer policies in 2018, Sanford Health Plan and Avera Health Care Plans, learned Wednesday that their proposals were approved by the federal government. 

The state's congressional delegation was quick to point to the increases as evidence of why lawmakers need to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But insurance executives said political efforts to reform healthcare created the uncertainty that drove prices up in the first place.

Assuming President Donald Trump doesn't move to eliminate cost-sharing reductions, policyholders will see a 7.5 percent bump under Sanford and 17 percent under Avera, executives from each group confirmed.

Executives from each group said the increases were low compared to previous years' hikes and compared to rates approved for other states. Sanford hiked its prices 36 in the state for 2017, while Avera increased its rates by 38 percent.

OK, so South Dakota is pricing their policies assuming CSRs will continue to be paid, averaging around 15.8%. If CSRs aren't paid, around another 11.6 points would have to be added if spread across all metal levels, for roughly a 27.4% average increase: