UPDATED: So much for the "NY rates to Skyrocket in 2015!!" freakout: Avg. increase only 5.7% (weighted)
The preliminary rate requests are just that: Preliminary. You can REQUEST anything; that doesn't mean you'll get it.
...as I noted last week, there's a huge difference between what the insurance companies are asking for and what they actually get approved. As noted in the article CNY article:
Last year, insurers requested 9.5 percent increases in premiums for their individual plans, but the state Department of Financial Services, which regulates insurers, approved, on average, only a 4.5 percent increase.
Well, guess what?
— Dan Goldberg (@DanGoldbergCNY) September 4, 2014
So, to reiterate: The weighted requested increase in NY was 13.4% (already less than the 14.6% unweighted requests), but the actual approved increases are apparently going to be 5.7% on average
(dunno if that's weighted or not, but that's OK for the moment).
UPDATE: OK, that was quick. Dan Goldberg just clarified that yes, that's a 5.7% weighted average.
The 5.7-percent increase is below the national average, which stands at 7.5 percent, and ensures average premiums remain far lower than they were in 2013 for those seeking to purchase on the individual market.
That's because of the individual mandate, part of the Affordable Care Act, which requires everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty. As a result, the state's individual market was flooded with new applicants, lowering overall premiums.
...For the most part, the state does not appear to have given much credence to these arguments. The state did take into account an expected reduction in a federal reinsurance program for insurers.