Rhode Island: 2016 Rate Requests 7.9% (weighted average)

Louise Norris has done the heavy lifting for me regarding Rhode Island's 2016 rate change requests. Then again, there's only 3 companies operating on the exchange anyway (and I don't see any other companies operating off-exchange only, so I assume that's it for the state's individual market):

Of the three carriers that offer individual plans in HealthSource RI, only one –UnitedHealthcare of New England – shows up on the rate review tool that HHS is using to publish proposed rate hikes of ten percent or higher.  United is requesting an average rate increase of about 11 percent for their Compass individual plans.

Blue Cross Blue Shield had also initially proposed weighted average rate hikes of 11 percent for their individual market plans in RI, but in early July, the carrier revised their projection to a weighted average rate increase of just 7 percent.  The lower rate is partially due to the fact that in the FY 2016 budget (see below), the HealthSource RI premium fee is lower than initially proposed.

Neighborhood Health Plan of RI has proposed increasing premiums by an average of 8.6 percent for 2015.

In 2014, Blue Cross Blue Shield garnered 97 percent of the exchange enrollments, while Neighborhood Health Plan of RI picked up just 3 percent(United joined the exchange in 2015).  But Neighborhood Health Plan decreased their rates for 2015, and their market share increased considerably; during the 2015 open enrollment period, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Neighborhood Health Plans each got just under half of the exchange enrollees, while United snagged about 3 percent of the enrollees.

So the proposed weighted average rate increase for HealthSource RI’s individual plans currently sits just under 8 percent for 2016, although the state is currently reviewing the filed rates and they are subject to change before they’re finalized.

There's no precise numbers here, so with only 3 companies involved I won't bother with a formal spreadsheet table as I normally do, but it basically works out to:

  • BCBS: 48.5% x 7% = 0.03395
  • Neighborhood: 48.5% x 8.6% = 0.04171
  • UnitedHealthcare: 3% x 11% = 0.0033

= 0.07896 = 7.9% weighted average

As always, this may change further after the state regulators issue their final rate change approval.