2017 Rate Request Early Look: Delaware

Hat Tip To: 
Brian Rahmer

Delaware is a small state, and only has a total of 4 carriers offering individual polcies (2 on exchange, 2 off). One of those, however, is once again "Freedom Life" which, once again, is asking for precisely a 17.37% rate hike on their almost-certain-to-be-nonexistent enrollees. So...never mind them. That leaves Aetna (split into HMOs and PPOs) and Highmark BCBS offering policies on the exchange, and Golden Rule off the exchange.

Unfortunately, I can't find Golden Rule's actual current enrollment number, but as you can see below, it really doesn't matter:

As you can see, no matter how many enrollees Golden Rule has, their 30.3% average hike request is very close to the 30.6% average of the other carriers. The very most it could do is nudge the weighted average down by a tenth of a point or two, so let's call it 30.5%. 

The only other odd thing here is that Delaware had about 28,000 people sign up for exchange-based QHPs this year. I'm not sure how that's possible when Aetna & Highmark only have 15.2K among them including off-exchange enrollees...but perhaps a carrier or two is dropping off the exchange?. Meanwhile, their entire indy marke was 32K in 2014, likely around 40K today. Where are the other 25K or so? Some are via Golden Rule; others are grandfathered (not transitional), but that's a huge discrepancy nonetheless.