Oregon releases 2015 premium rates; semi-weighted average of 6.8% increase

Hat Tip To: 
Ryan S.

Oregon is, I believe, the 5th state to release their approved ACA exchange premium rates for 2015, after Rhode Island, Connecticut, California and Mississippi. Like most of the others, it's a mixed bag, with some companies raising their rates by up to 10% but others reducing theirs by as much as 20% (or even 26% for the small group market, although that's not the one that I'm primarily looking at).

About 80,000 Moda Health members who buy their own insurance will see their monthly premiums climb an average 10.6 percent next year, while many other insurers are dropping their rates to compete.

Insurance rate decisions were issued by the Oregon Insurance Division Thursday and announced today, showing a tighter range of premiums in the individual market for people not covered by employers or Medicare.

Moda's once market-leading rates have jumped to middle of the pack. For a silver plan, a 40-year old in Portland can find four insurers with lower premiums approved by the state.

A simple unweighted average of the 13 companies operating on the individual market gives a decrease of about 2.5% overall, but this is pretty much meaningless. As I've noted several times before, without knowing how many enrollees each company has, it's impossible to do a weighted average...and even knowing that wouldn't tell us a whole lot since the percent increase/decrease is relative to what it started out at. Again, if Plan A starts at $100/month and Plan B starts at $1,000/month, a 20% cut from Plan B is gonna carry a lot more weight than a 20% increase from Plan A.

The linked PDF does give the actual starting and ending amounts for one of the plans in each company (Silver, 40 year old from Portland) which helps mitigate this point...but again, without knowing how many people actually enrolled in each of those (vs. Bronze, Gold or Platinum plans, etc) within each company, it's still not that insightful.

Still, things are looking pretty good on the premium front in Oregon, at least.

UPDATE: Thanks so much to Steve M. for pointing me towards this article which gives the market share for 3 of the 11 companies which operated on the Oregon exchange for 2014 (although the article says there were 11 companies, the actual rate chart lists 13).

when you look at the 11 companies that offered plans on Cover Oregon this year, the co-op only attracted 1 percent of enrollees.

Another insurer, Portland-based Moda Health, was the big winner there. It offered the lowest prices and attracted 73 percent of the enrollees.

Kaiser Permanente came second with 9 percent.

As Steve points out, while you can't get a fully weighted average without knowing the breakout of all 11 companies, these three add up to 83% of the total, so you can get a pretty close guess by just dividing up the remaining 17% among the other 10, which gives:

Moda: 73% of market x 10.6% = +7.738
Kaiser: 9% of market x (-4.1%) = (-0.369)
Oregon Co-Op: 1% of market x (-9.9%) = (-0.099)
10 Other Plans (assume 1.7% apiece): 17% of market x (avg. -2.89%) = (-0.4913)

TOTAL semi-weighted average: +6.7787%

So, it looks like Oregon's semi-weighted average increase requests are coming in at around 6.8%.