Tennessee: Approved rate hikes: 13.5% w/out Trump sabotage, 28.5% w/sabotage

Louise Norris has been saving me the trouble of digging up/writing up the approved rates in several states...

Insurance Commissioner approves rates insurers filed for 2018; Cost to cover CSRs has been added to silver plan premiums

On September 20, the Tennessee Department of Insurance and Commerce (TDIC) announced that the state had approved the rates that insurers had filed for 2018. However, the announcement indicated that Cigna’s approved average rate increase was 42.1 percent, which was based on the filing Cigna submitted in June 2017. An updated filing, with an average rate increase of 36.5 percent, was submitted in August, and TDIC confirmed by phone on September 21 that the updated filing was approved. The slightly smaller rate increase is due to Cigna’s decision to terminate some existing plans and replace them with new plans).

The following average rate increases were approved for 2018 individual market coverage:

  • Cigna: 36.5 percent (69,366 members)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee: 21.4 percent (78,000 members)
  • Oscar Health: New to Tennessee for 2018, so no applicable rate increase

The weighted average rate increase is 28.5 percent.

...88 percent of Tennessee exchange enrollees receive premium subsidies, and those subsidies will increase to keep pace with the average cost of the second-lowest-cost silver plan. Silver plans will be more expensive than usual in 2018 in Tennessee, as the Trump Administration has not committed to funding cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) for 2018, and Congress has not allocated funding for them either (details below). TDCI confirmed that the additional premiums that are necessary to cover CSRs in 2018 have been added to silver plans, which will result in even larger premium subsidies for 2018.

The final, approved averages are slightly lower than the requested rate hikes I calculated for requested increases earlier this year. As a reminder, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee is quite directly blaming virtually every penny of their rate increases specifically on Trump/GOP sabotage of the CSR payments and the individual mandate (the graphic below comes directly from them, not me):