2017 Rate Request Early Look: Oklahoma

Oklahoma's entire individual market (including grandfathered/transitional plans) was around 172,000 people in 2014. Assuming it's grown roughly 25% (in line with the national increase), it should be up to perhaps 215,000 people by today, of which perhaps 195K are ACA-compliant.

This is significant because there appear to be only 3 carriers offering individual policies in Oklahoma next year...one of which is the infamous "Freedom Life Insurance Co." which I wrote about last night. Since Freedom Life has (as usual) only a single enrollee in the state, it's really a nonfactor for calculating the weighted rate hike average.

That leaves Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, which has a whopping 170,000 enrollees...and CommunityCare (which is in turn broken into HMO and PPO divisions)...unfortunately, their rate filing doesn't include their enrollment number; all it says is that it's "too small to be credible" to be used as the basis of their rate hike request. In addition, UnitedHealthcare is dropping out of the OK indy market; I don't know how many enrollees they actually have.

When you subtract the 170K BCBS enrollees from the estimated 195K total ACA-compliant figure, that leaves around 25,000 people among CommunityCare and United. I have no idea what the allocation is between them and have taken a wild stab (15K and 10K respectively). Ultimately it doesn't make much difference, however, because Blue Cross is asking for a jaw-dropping 51% rate hike next year. With over 90% of the market, the relatively mild increase requests from CommunityCare (15.2% and 9.6%) don't do much to bring the average down: