2022 Rate Changes

Every year, I spend months painstakingly tracking every insurance carrier rate filing for the following year to determine just how much average insurance policy premiums on the individual market are projected to increase or decrease.

Carriers tendency to jump in and out of the market, repeatedly revise their requests, and the confusing blizzard of actual filing forms sometimes make it next to impossible to find the specific data I need. The actual data I need to compile my estimates are actually fairly simple, however. I really only need three pieces of information for each carrier:

  • How many effectuated enrollees they have enrolled in ACA-compliant individual market policies;
  • What their average projected premium rate increase (or decrease) is for those enrollees (assuming 100% of them renew their existing policies, of course); and
  • Ideally, a breakout of the reasons behind those rate changes, since there's usually more than one.

Unfortunately, there are about a dozen states where due to the carriers and/or the state insurance departments heavily redacting the rate filing documentation, I've been unable to fill in the actual number of people enrolled by some or all of the insurance carriers within that state's individual market. This means that the average premium rate changes listed (shown in grey) are unweighted averages, not weighted.

This can make a big difference in some cases: Let's say you have 2 carriers in a state, one raising rates by 10% and the other raising them by 1%. The unweighted average increase would be 5.5%. However, what if it turns out that the first carrier has 90% of the market share while the second only has 10%? That would mean a weighted average increase 9.1%. The unweighted average is the best I can do for these states without knowing the market share breakout, however.

As of this writing, I've plugged in the preliminary (requested) 2022 statewide average rate changes for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, giving a national average increase of 3.9% overall. I've also entered the final (approved) averages for 19 states so far. For those states, the national weighted average increase is a bit higher, 4.8%. This will likely drop as more final averages are entered in the coming weeks hover; the odds are high that once every state is filled in, the final average increase will be slightly lower than the preliminary average.

UPDATE 10/19/21: I've filled in the final/approved averages for Oregon, Indiana, Delaware, Connecticut and Idaho, which collectively whittle the final national average down from 4.8% to...4.6%.

UPDATE 10/21/21: I've managed to get hard enrollment numbers (allowing weighted changes) as well as approved rate changes for North Dakota, Arizona and South Carolina. In addition, Wisconsin's insurance dept. issued their weighted, approved average as well.

With these updates, the preliminary national average increases to 4.1%, while the approved average (across 29 states) is down to 4.2%.

UPDATE x2 10/21/21: OK, I'm on a roll today: I've also managed to get more accurate enrollment data for Alabama as well as confirming AL's approved rate changes, and have also filled in the enrollment data for Iowa carriers (again, confirming approved changes), which allowed me to run the weighted average statewide. None of these changes moves the needle on either preliminary or approved rate changes, however.

UPDATE 10/22/21: Added approved rate changes for Colorado, Michigan & Montana.

UPDATE 10/27/21: Added approved rate changes for Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, North Carolina & Arkansas, along with some updates/corrections to enrollment data & carrier participation for a few other states.  Also revised estimated total market enrollment for the 7 states which I don't have hard data available for.

UPDATE 11/02/21: Now that the 2022 Open Enrollment Period has officially launched, the federal Rate Review website has been updated with approved rates for all 50 states + DC, allowing me to fill in the remaining states.

Overall, it looks like the average unsubsidized rate increase is around 3.5% nationally.

(click image for higher-resolution version)

District of Columbia

via the DC Dept. of Insurance, Securities & Banking:

Information About Proposed Rates for January 2022 Health Plan Offerings on DC Health Link

This page contains proposed health plan rate information for the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace, DC Health Link, for plan year 2022.

The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) received 184 proposed health insurance plan rates for review from Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and United Healthcare in advance of open enrollment for plan year 2022 on DC Health Link, the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace.

The four insurance companies filed proposed rates for individuals, families and small businesses for the 2022 plan year. Overall, 184 plans were filed, compared to 188 last year. The number of small group plans decreased from 163 to 157, and the number of individual plans increased from 25 to 27.

Delaware

via the Delaware Insurance Dept:

Health Insurance rate filings are available for the companies listed below. Additional companies will be listed as their filings are received. Any insurance filings already approved are available to the public through the NAIC’s System for Electronic Rate and Form Filing (SERFF) interface. There is no fee for using SERFF. Rate info can also be accessed at the Rate Review page at Healthcare.gov

Highmark BCBSD Inc: (individual market)

Highmark DE is requesting an average plan level rate increase of 4.0% based on the projected enrollment mix by plan. The plan level rate changes will impact an estimated 26,568 current members. The rate change will vary by product ranging from a minimum of 1.7% to a maximum of 14.7%.

Connecticut

via the Connecticut Insurance Dept:

The Connecticut Insurance Department has posted the initial proposed health insurance rate filings for the 2022 individual and small group markets. There are 15 filings made by 11 health insurers for plans that currently cover approximately 222,700 people.

Anthem and ConnectiCare Benefits Inc. (CBI) have filed rates for both individual and small group plans that will be marketed through Access Health CT, the state-sponsored health insurance exchange. ConnectiCare Insurance Company, Inc. will begin participating on the exchange in the individual market effective 1/1/2022.

Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company began participating in the small group market 7/1/2021.

The 2022 rate proposals for the individual and small group market are on average higher than last year:

The proposed average individual rate request is an 8.6 percent increase, compared to 6.3 percent in 2021 and ranges from 5.1 percent to 12.3 percent.

Colorado

As I've noted repeatedly, I'm way behind on my annual rate change project; Colorado's Insurance Division announced preliminary 2022 rate filings about a month ago:

Preliminary Information Shows Even Greater Savings in 2022: 24.1% Savings from Bipartisan Reinsurance Program 

DENVER - Governor Polis and the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), released preliminary information about the health insurance plans and premiums for 2022, for the individual market (meaning health insurance plans for people who don’t get their insurance from an employer) and the small group market (for small businesses with 2-100 employees).

Arkansas

via the Arkansas Insurance Dept:

Health Insurance Rate Changes for 2022

Insurance companies offering individual and small group health insurance plans are required to file proposed rates with the Arkansas Insurance Department for review and approval before plans can be sold to consumers.

The Department reviews rates to ensure that the plans are priced appropriately. Under Arkansas Law (Ark. Code Ann. § 23-79-110), the Commissioner shall disapprove a rate filing if he/she finds that the rate is not actuarially sound, is excessive, is inadequate, or is unfairly discriminatory.

The Department relies on outside actuarial analysis by a member of the American Academy of Actuaries to help determine whether a rate filing is sound.

Below, you can review information on the proposed rate filings for Plan Year 2022 individual and small group products that comply with the reforms of the Affordable Care Act.

Arizona

The good news is that the federal Rate Review database has now posted the preliminary avg. 2022 rate filings for the individual and small group markets for every state. This makes it very easy to plug in the average requested rate changes in 2021 for every carrier participating in both markets.

The bad news is that most of the underlying filing forms are heavily redacted, meaning I can't use the RR database to acquire the other critical data I need in order to run a proper weighted average: The number of people actually enrolled in the policies for each carrier.

This means that in cases where this data isn't available elsewhere (either the state's insurance department website, the SERFF database or otherwise), I'm limited to running an unweighted average. This can make a huge difference...if one carrier is requesting a 10% increase and the other is keeping prices flat, that's a 5.0% unweighted average rate hike...but if the first carrier has 99,000 enrollees and the second only has 1,000, that means the weighted average is actually 9.9%.

Alabama

Via the Alabama Insurance Dept:

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that insurers planning to increase plan premiums submit their rates to the Alabama Department of Insurance for review.

The rate review process is designed to improve insurer accountability and transparency. It ensures that experts evaluate whether the proposed rate increases are based on reasonable cost assumptions and solid evidence. The ACA also requires that a summary of rate review justifications and results be accessible to the public in an easily understandable format. The Federal HealthCare.gov Rate Review website is designed to meet that mandate. For more information, see here.

The information is provided in the tables below. Also attached are links to the redacted actuarial memorandum, which support these changes. The rate changes are being proposed and reviewed by the Alabama Department of insurance (ALDOI). As soon as they are final, they may be purchased on the Federal Exchange or through private agents and brokers. The programs will be effective beginning on January 1, 2022.

Covered California Logo

My recent obsession with COVID vaccination rates means that I've fallen embarrassingly behind on my annual ACA rate change project, and nothing illustrates this more than the fact that Covered California issued this press release over two weeks ago and I'm just now getting to writing about it:

  • The American Rescue Plan will continue to provide lower premiums, at levels never seen before, throughout the entire 2022 coverage year.
  • The new and expanded financial help has led to a record 1.6 million people enrolled in Covered California, which gives the state one of the healthiest consumer pools in the nation for the seventh consecutive year.
  • The record enrollment and healthy consumer pool were key factors in negotiating a preliminary rate increase for California’s individual market of just 1.8 percent in 2022, and a three-year average of only 1.1 percent (2020-2022).
  • With expansions of coverage by several carriers and a new carrier in one region, consumers will have even more choice: All Californians will have two or more choices, 94 percent will be able to choose from three carriers or more, and 81 percent of Californians will have four or more choices.
  • Consumers can sign up now to benefit from the increased financial help provided by the American Rescue Plan, which is lowering premiums and enabling 700,000 people to get covered for only $1 per month.
Washington State

Every year, I spend months tracking every insurance carrier rate filing for the following year to determine just how much average insurance policy premiums on the individual market are projected to increase or decrease.

Carriers tendency to jump in and out of the market, repeatedly revise their requests, and the confusing blizzard of actual filing forms sometimes make it next to impossible to find the specific data I need. The actual data I need to compile my estimates are actually fairly simple, however. I really only need three pieces of information for each carrier:

How many effectuated enrollees they have enrolled in ACA-compliant individual market policies;

What their average projected premium rate change is for those enrollees (assuming 100% of them renew their existing policies, of course); and

Ideally, a breakout of the reasons behind those rate changes, since there's usually more than one.

Usually I begin this process in late April or early May, but this year I've been swamped with other spring/summer projects: My state-by-state Medicaid Enrollment project and my state/county-level COVID-19 vaccination rate project.

Oregon

Every year, I spend months tracking every insurance carrier rate filing for the following year to determine just how much average insurance policy premiums on the individual market are projected to increase or decrease.

Carriers tendency to jump in and out of the market, repeatedly revise their requests, and the confusing blizzard of actual filing forms sometimes make it next to impossible to find the specific data I need. The actual data I need to compile my estimates are actually fairly simple, however. I really only need three pieces of information for each carrier:

How many effectuated enrollees they have enrolled in ACA-compliant individual market policies;

What their average projected premium rate change is for those enrollees (assuming 100% of them renew their existing policies, of course); and

Ideally, a breakout of the reasons behind those rate changes, since there's usually more than one.

Usually I begin this process in late April or early May, but this year I've been swamped with other spring/summer projects: My state-by-state Medicaid Enrollment project and my state/county-level COVID-19 vaccination rate project.

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