Virginia: PRELIMINARY 2020 ACA Exchange Avg. Premium Rate Changes: 2.9% increase

Virginia is traditionally the first state to release their preliminary individual (& small group) market healthcare policy rate changes, but this year the state insurance regulatory body delayed the initial deadline by a couple of weeks. As a result, three other states (Maryland, Vermont and Oregon) beat Virginia to the punch this year.

The extended VA deadline passed last week, however, and so I'm now able to dig up the preliminary 2020 rate filings for the ACA market. It's important to remember as always that these are preliminary requests only; some of them are bound to change at least once between now and late September, when the final rate changes are locked in and the contracts are signed for the 2020 calendar year (and Open Enrollment Period).

Overall, unsubsidized 2020 premiums are only expected to increase modestly, averaging around 2.9%, although this ranges from as low as a 15.7% drop for CareFirst BlueChoice to an 11.9% increase for Group Hospitalization & Medical Services, Inc. (GHMSI). The most noteworthy items to me are 1) Optima Health Insurance has no enrollees at all at the moment (although their sister division, Optima Health Plan, has over 25,000), and 2) the entry of Oscar Insurance Co. into the Virginia market. Since they're brand new, there's no "rate change" to report. I'm assuming the blank Optima Health Insurance numbers are connected to this debacle from last year.