Maine: PRELIMINARY 2020 ACA Exchange Premium Rate Changes: 4.7% increase

The state of Maine's Bureau of Professional & Financial Regulation has released their preliminary 2020 rate filings for the Individual and Small Group markets. Overall, the three carriers participating in their individual market are seeking a weighted average rate increase of 4.7% vs. last year. If approved as is, that would bring the average unsubsidized premium up from $675/month to $707/month, or around $381/year.

It's important to keep in mind why premiums are going up. I've included screenshots of the rate filing memos--Maine Community Health Options, which holds over 50% of the individual marketshare, clarifies that the combination of the individual mandate being repealed and the expansion of #ShortAssPlans are causing an 11% increase. They also note that Maine's recent Medicaid expansion implementation may be a factor, although normally that reduces premiums since lower-income populations tend to be less healthy than higher-income populations, so I'm not sure what to make of that.

On the flip side, they also note that Maine's implementation of a (fairly weak) reinsurance program via their 1332 Waiver is reducing premiums by around 5%. Combined with other factors, Maine CHO is asking for a 7.7% increase; averaged out with the other two carriers this comes in at 4.71% marketwide.

The small group market carriers, meanwhile, are requesting an average 9.7% increase, although I don't know what the average dollar amount for small group policy premiums are this year.