Connecticut: Weighted Avg. 2015 Rates increase only 0.8%!

Hat Tip To: 
Arielle Becker

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how insurance providers in Connecticut requested rate changes ranging up to 12.8%...but the approved rate increase, overall, appeared to only be around 4.5% when weighted by market share. However, that was based on the assumption that the largest provider, Anthem BCBS, would end up with an approved average of around a 6% increase.

Today, it was revealed that Anthem's actual rate changes for 2015 will be an average of 0.1% lower:

Anthem, the state’s largest insurer, initially requested approval to raise rates by an average of 12.5 percent. But the insurance department rejected the proposal and asked the company to resubmit its plan using different calculations.

The result: An average premium decrease of 0.1 percent for Anthem customers.

The actual change will vary by plan. People who bought catastrophic policies -- which are limited to people under 30 or those whose old plans were discontinued -- will see a 15.47 percent rate decrease.

The highest approved increase was for people with one high-level gold plan, who will see their premiums rise by 4.23 percent.

That's right. When you plug this new info into the weighted average formula, you get the following:

  • Anthem: -0.1% x 60% market share = -0.0006
  • ConnectiCare: 3.1% x 37% market share = 0.01147
  • HealthyCT: -8.5% x 3% = -0.00255
  • Weighted Average: 0.8% increase

Of course, as I noted recently, that still doesn't tell the whole story, since you still have to account for the weighted average within the different plans. As mentioned in the quote above, the actual changes within Anthem itself will range between as low as a 15.5% decrease to a 4.2% increase; if 99% of the enrollees are on the Gold plan, the actual increase will be over 4%.

However, it still goes to show that you have to be very careful about reading too much into headlines screaming about "DOUBLE DIGIT INCREASES!!!" (especially since they were increasing by double digits annually for years before the ACA anyway).