Wisconsin: *Final* avg. 2020 premium rate changes: 3.2% drop thanks to reinsurance

I posted Wisconsin's preliminary 2020 rate filings in early August. Yesterday the state insurance department posted this press release, which includes the final, approved rate changes. As far as I can tell, nothing has changed (the final statewide weighted average is a 3.2% average premium reduction over last year, thanks primarily to them implementing a fairly robust ACA Section 1332 reinsurance waiver:

​Gov. Evers Announces More Health Insurance Options for Wisconsinites in 2020 Ahead of Open Enrollment

Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance announced today that many Wisconsin consumers will have more options for health insurance on the individual market in 2020. During open enrollment, 61 Wisconsin counties will have three or more insurance carrier options on the individual market, including those carriers that are available on the federal marketplace. Residents in Northeastern Wisconsin who purchase insurance on Healthcare.gov will also have significantly more options in 2020 than were available in 2019.

"Every Wisconsinite should have access to affordable health insurance coverage that fits their needs," said Gov. Evers. "Now, more than ever, Wisconsinites will have the chance to find the right plan for them, including those plans available on Healthcare.gov. Open enrollment starts on November 1. Now is the perfect time for folks to look at what coverage they have and make sure it is the best fit for them."

"A strong, competitive insurance market helps ensure consumers have more options when it comes to finding the right insurance plan for them and their families," said Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable. "The Wisconsin Healthcare Stability Plan is helping insurers keep insurance rates low for Wisconsinites while promoting a stable marketplace. We want to see more options for every Wisconsinite. The right insurance coverage is key to getting access to good, affordable health care. Wisconsinites looking for health insurance can call 211 to get connected to a local enrollment assister."

In 2020, 61 counties will be served by three or more insurers compared to only 46 counties with three or more insurers in 2018. Counties that saw an expansion of insurers include:

  • Ashland, Chippewa, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, and Portage counties, which went from two insurers to three insurers;
  • Jefferson, Green Lake, Sheboygan, Walworth, Waupaca, and Waushara counties, which went from three to four insurers;
  • Calumet, Fond Du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Racine counties, which went from four to five insurers;
  • Kewaunee, Manitowoc, and Winnebago counties, which went from three to five insurers;
  • Dodge, Door, and Oconto counties, which went from four to six insurers; and
  • Brown County, which went from five to six insurers.

Wisconsinites purchasing health insurance on Healthcare.gov in Brown, Door, Oconto, Manitowoc, Sheboygan counties only had one option for an insurer in 2019. In 2020, residents purchasing health insurance on the federal marketplace in those counties now have the choice between four insurers. Residents in Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet, and Fond Du Lac will have five insurers to choose from on Healthcare.gov in 2020.

An interactive map of health insurers available by county can be found here.

Many Wisconsinites will also benefit from lower rates in 2020. Rates on the individual market, which include plans available on Healthcare.gov, will be 3.2 percent lower in 2020 on a weighted average than rates in 2019. The Wisconsin Healthcare Stability Plan (WIHSP), which Gov. Evers fully funded in his 2019-2021 state biennial budget, has helped stabilize the health insurance marketplace in Wisconsin, leading to more options for consumers and lower rates. More information on WIHSP is available here.

Open enrollment starts on November 1. The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance is encouraging every Wisconsinite to review their insurance coverage. Individuals without health insurance should visit Healthcare.gov to find a plan and sign up.