Arkansas: 2015 Premium Rates may DROP by 3.5%!
The Invisible Hand of the Free Market slaps "ACA = Socialism!" claims upside the head, Part 8
Carriers have submitted proposed 2015 rates for the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace — the health care exchange created via the Affordable Care Act — to AID for review. According to information previously available online via the Arkansas Insurance Department, the news is good: if the proposed rates are approved, they will lead to an overall decrease in insurance rates on the Marketplace.
...Blue Cross Blue Shield, which currently has the largest market share on the marketplace, proposed a rate increase of zero...Celtic, selling in Arkansas as Ambetter, which currently has the second largest market share, proposed a rate decrease of 12 percent. Finally, QualChoice, which has the smallest market share, proposed a rate increase of 5 percent.
Based on the 2014 market share on the exchange, if the proposed rates were approved, the net impact on rates on the Marketplace (the weighted average for those three carriers) would be a decrease of 3.5 percent. Given that premiums tend to increase annually, this would be huge news for the Marketplace and for the private option if it comes to pass.
It's important to note that these rate changes also apply to the "Private Option" program that Arkansas instituted instead of the "normal" Medicaid expansion.