New Jersey: Approved 2018 rate hikes: 22% on average, over half due specifically to CSR/mandate sabotage

When I plugged in the requested rate hike numbers for New Jersey back in August, they averaged around 8.5% assuming CSR payments would be made, or around 21.6% if they aren't.

The approved rate increases for NJ were just released, and the numbers appear to be pretty close to that, if a bit higher: 9.9% and 22.0% respectively.

Truth be told, I only have the hard numbers for the exchange-based carriers...and even those aren't technically official; they come from this article:

TRENTON -- New Jersey residents who bought their own health coverage from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield through the Affordable Care Act could pay an average of 24 percent more next year, according to state-approved rates released on Tuesday.

Horizon is one of three insurance companies in New Jersey participating in the Obamacare marketplace in 2018. But it is the most dominant, insuring 72 percent of the 244,000 individual policy holders this year.

Actually, as far as I can tell, there's only two carriers on the exchange next year; it's just that two of them are divisions of AmeriHealth (one for HMOs and one for PPOs, I presume).

UPDATE: D'OH!! Whoops, I completely forgot that Oscar Health is the third NJ exchange carrier...they dropped out a couple years ago but announced they're returning next year. I even wrote up an entry about it this summer. My bad. However, since they're technically "new" to the state, there's no official 2017 premium rates to compare against, so there's no official "increase" for them

People who buy one of AmeriHealth's 11 products will also see higher rates. One of its silver preferred provider plans will run $311.86 a month in 2018, compared to $264.10 a month this year according to the state.

AmeriHealth premiums will rise an average of 17 percent more in 2018, largely because of the "uncertainty" in the market, company spokeswoman Jill Roman said.

...Horizon attributed 14 percent of 24 percent average price hike to the Trump administration's actions. Not enforcing the "individual mandate" that requires everybody to buy insurance is the biggest cost-driver, at 8.5 percent.

Ending the federal subsidies and imposing a delayed tax on insurance companies contributed 3.9 percent and 2.4 percent of the rise, respectively, Horizon officials said.

Nationally, the "mandate enforcement" sabotage factor is only averaging around 4 percentage points vs. around 14 points for CSRs; New Jersey is among the few states where mandate enforcement is a bigger part of the rate hike (New York and Minnesota are others, but that's mainly because they have so few people enrolled in CSR policies anyway due to their Basic Health Plan programs).

Still, sabotage is sabotage. As for the other three off-exchange-only carriers (Cigna, Oxford and another division of Horizon), they only have about 1,300 enrollees between them, so even though I don't know what their approved rate increases are, it wouldn't be more than a rounding error no matter how high or low it is.