District of Columbia: *Approved* 2016 avg. rates: 4.3% (down from 5.3% requested)

Way back in May, the requested rate hikes on the individual market for our nation's capital appeared to average roughly 5.3%. Earlier today, the District of Columbia Dept. of Insurance, Securities & Banking (DISB) announced the approved rate changes for DC:

DISB announced Sept. 15 the approved health insurance plan rates for the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace, DC Health Link, for plan year 2016.

Eight carriers through four major insurance companies – Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare – will have plan offerings for individuals, families and small businesses on DC Health Link when enrollment opens Nov. 1, 2015.

As a result of DISB’s rate review process, all insurers offering plans on DC Health Link lowered their proposed rate increases – some by as much as 10 percent. The average increase in 2016 premiums across all insurers is 4.25% for individuals and 4.74% for small group plans. The most popular individual and small group plans from 2015 are increasing 4.3% and 4.1%, respectively. To view a table of proposed versus approved rate changes, follow this link.

The links below include tables of approved rates for individual and small business plans to be offered on DC Health Link in 2016. The tables show low, high and average premiums by company, product type and metal level for ages 27, 40 and 55. The previous tables of proposed rates are also available for reference below.

Please note: Since some plans, both individual and small business, offered in 2015 are no longer available and new plans have been added, see the charts under “Comparison of Year-over-Year Rate Changes” which show the average rate changes for the 162 plans still available in 2016. Comparing the 2015 and 2016 tables may result in erroneous conclusions.

Unfortunately, given DC's tiny size (only around 660,000 residents) and the single percentage-point reduction, this isn't enough to even slightly move the needle on the nationwide average rate increase, but it's still a Good Thing® for those living in the District.