Oregon: SEMI-APPROVED 2020 ACA Exchange Premium Rate Changes: 2.3% increase.
Not much of an entry, but still: A month ago, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation posted the requested 2020 rate changes for the Individual and Small Group health insurance markets: 3.3% on average for the Indy market, 8.7% for the sm. group market.
Today, after reviewing the requests from the insurance carriers, the department has posted their "semi-final" rates. These may still see some additional tweaking before the final, approved rates are locked in, but the odds are that these will be the final rates:
Salem — Oregonians can now see the state’s preliminary rate decisions for 2020 individual and small employer health insurance plans. The Division of Financial Regulation must review and approve any rates before they can be charged to policyholders.
Preliminary rate decisions are for individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer and for small businesses.
In the individual market, the division has issued preliminary decisions for seven companies with average rate changes ranging from a 3.2 percent decrease to a 8.9 percent increase, for an average of 2.3 percent. As a comparison, insurers originally requested rates ranging from an average 3.2 percent decrease to an average 13.5 percent increase, for an average of 3.3 percent.
Under the preliminary decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $436 to $530 a month.
“Although rates are still rising for many consumers, we are encouraged to see the health insurance market stabilizing,” said Andrew Stolfi, insurance commissioner. “Part of the stabilization is due to the Oregon Reinsurance Program providing some relief, enabling carriers to expand coverage into additional counties and keeping rate increases lower than they could have been without it.”
In the small group market, the division has reviewed each company’s rate request and plans to approve the rates as filed. The average rate increases range from a 0.3 percent decrease to a 13.1 percent increase. Under the preliminary decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $328 to $394 a month.
Common trends that affect rates include:
- Medical costs continue to rise, driven by increased use and the cost of new specialized prescription drugs.
- The cost of providing care continues to surpass premiums collected for many carriers.
- Federal policy changes, including the zeroing out of the individual mandate and federal rule changes around short-term limited-duration plans and association health plans, contributed an average of 7 percentage points to rate increases.
- The Oregon Reinsurance Program, which was renewed by the legislature for six more years, continues to lower rates by 6 percent each year.
These preliminary decisions will undergo continued review and discussion through public hearings held in Salem and streamed online July 2-3. The public comment period also will remain open through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 3.
All Oregonians are encouraged to participate during the public comment period. Visit www.oregonhealthrates.org to see a chart detailing changes to each plan for 2020, review each insurance company’s public hearing schedule, and submit comments regarding specific health insurance company’s rates.
Final decisions are expected to be announced Tuesday, July 23.
As I noted last month, I get slightly different averages when I plug in the actual enrollment numbers than the state (2.2% instead of 2.3% and 8.3% instead of 8.7%), but that could be due to rounding or other factors.
The only changes were reductions for HealthNet (from 13.5% down to an 8.9% increase) and Kaiser (from 11.4% down to a 5.7% increase).