Alabama: *Final* avg. unsubsidized 2024 #ACA rate changes: -3.7% (unweighted)
Originally published 8/07/23
The good news is that RateReview.HealthCare.Gov has posted the preliminary 2024 rate filing summaries for every state, making it much easier to pin down which carriers are actually participating in the individual & small group markets next year, as well as what the carriers average requested rate changes are in states which don't publish that data publicly (or which make it difficult to track down if they do).
The bad news is that in many of those states, acquiring the actual enrollment data is even more difficult, as their rate filings tend to be heavily redacted. Alabama falls into this category.
In Alabama, three insurance carriers are listed as offering policies on the individual market next year: Blue Cross Blue Shield of AL, Celtic Insurance Co. (which is actually owned by Centene, which also owns Ambetter), and UnitedHealthcare Insurance Co. A fourth carrier, US Health & Life Insurance Co. (which is itself also owned by UnitedHealthcare) isn't listed...which is strange, as they appeared to have just joined the Alabama market in 2023, although they later disappeared from the rate filing list, so...
In any event, I'm assuming that BCBS still holds the lions share of ACA enrollment in Alabama, which means the weighted rate change request is likely more like a 2% increase or so....but without hard numbers, I can only use the unweighted average, which comes in at a 3.7% drop due mainly to UnitedHealthcare's dramatic proposed 15% rate reduction.
For the small group market, the unweighted average is a 7.9% increase, which is probably pretty close to the weighted average anyway given the narrow range of requested rate changes across the four carriers offering policies on that market.
UPDATE 10/06/23: The Alabama Insurance Dept. has posted a press release with the final rate filings for the state's individual market (but not the small group market). It looks like they approved all 3 carrier requests as is. Still no enrollment data available so I can't run a weighted average, however:
The Alabama Department of Insurance (ALDOI) has approved the final 2024 premium rates for the Affordable Care Act Individual Market in Alabama. The rates will be effective on January 1, 2024. The three carriers in the Alabama individual market are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama (BCBS), UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company (UHC), and Celtic Insurance Company (CIC). On average, rates for BCBS increased 3.1 percent, rates for UHC decreased 15.1 percent, and rates for CIC increased 0.9 percent. The actual rates and the supporting material may be found by clicking on the links below.
Consumers with an insurance question may contact the Alabama Department of Insurance, Consumer Services Division, using the contact information below. The Department also maintains a Live Chat feature for consumers at our website at www.aldoi.gov. A representative will be happy to help answer your questions.
FINAL RATE CHANGES FOR AFFORDABLE CARE ACT POLICIES IN THE INDIVIDUAL MARKET
Changes to be effective January 1, 2024