Charles Gaba's blog


via Covered California:

Covered California Launches Statewide Push to Help Californians Stay Covered if They Lose Their Medi-Cal Eligibility

Covered California lanza una campaña estatal para ayudar a los californianos a permanecer cubiertos si pierden su elegibilidad para Medi-Cal

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California launched a virtual media tour on Wednesday to spread the word about the upcoming Medi-Cal to Covered California Enrollment Program and how it will help keep Californians covered. 

October 2022:

...Well, just one day after the Bright Healthcare bombshell news broke, Texas-based health insurance broker Jenny Chumbley Hogue sounded the alarm on another large carrier bailing on Texas next year:

TX Marketplace Rumor Mill: Friday Health Plans is OUT for 2023. @LouiseNorris @charles_gaba @bjdickmayhew

— Jenny Chumbley Hogue (@kgmom219) October 12, 2022

And its confirmed. Email received from Friday. Buckle up folks! Individual OEP in Texas is going to be a bumpy ride!

— Jenny Chumbley Hogue (@kgmom219) October 12, 2022

via the Washington Insurance Dept.:

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Fourteen health insurers filed an average requested rate increase of 9.11% for Washington's individual health insurance market. The proposed plans and their rates are currently under review and final decisions will be made this fall.

"Nearly 250,000 people in Washington state get their health coverage through our individual market,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “I'm pleased that so many insurers are filing plans again and to see such healthy competition. Now, we'll spend the next few months closely reviewing the companies' requests and the assumptions they’re making to be sure any rate change is justified.”

Back in February, I wrote about a bill introduced into the Illinois State Senate by Sen. Laura Fine (SD-09) which made my heart sing:

  • Amends the Department of Insurance Law.
  • Provides that the Department of Insurance shall establish the Office of the Healthcare Advocate.
  • Provides that the Office shall be administered by the Chief Health Care Advocate, who shall report to the Director of Insurance.
  • Amends the Illinois Insurance Code and the Health Maintenance Organization Act.
  • Provides that all individual and small group accident and health policies written subject to certain federal standards must file rates with the Department for approval.
  • Provides that unreasonable rate increases or inadequate rates shall be modified or disapproved.
  • Provides that when an insurer files a schedule or table of premium rates for individual or small group health benefit plans, the insurer shall post notice of the premium rate filings and a filing summary in plain language on the insurer's website.
  • Provides that the Department shall post all insurers' rate filings and summaries on the Department's website.
  • Provides that the Department shall open a 30-day public comment period on the date that a rate filing is posted on the website.

I wrote about Illinois House Bill 579 back in March:

...With the recent trend of more & more states (most recently including Georgia) splitting off from the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) hosted via HealthCare.Gov, it's hardly surprising...but it's still a pretty big deal, especially given that Illinois is the 6th largest U.S. state by population. Via Amy Lotven of Inside Health Policy:

Illinois’ Department of Insurance would be authorized to operate a state-based exchange, starting in plan year 2026, under legislation introduced late Thursday by the Illinois Democratic House Majority Leader Robyn Gabel. Sources earlier this week told IHP they had heard state officials were working with lawmakers on exchange legislation and the bill could be unveiled by this week.

via Access Health CT:

These free, in-person events will take place in Meriden, Norwich and Waterbury

HARTFORD, Conn. (May 24, 2023) — Access Health CT (AHCT) today announced it will host three free, in-person enrollment fairs in June to help HUSKY Health enrollees who have been affected by recent legislation. HUSKY Health is Connecticut’s Medicaid program. The events will take place in Meriden, Norwich and Waterbury.

Medicaid Unwinding is a term the federal government is using to describe the process of resuming the regular annual review of households for Medicaid eligibility after a three-year hiatus during COVID. The eligibility redetermination process resumed April 1. The Medicaid Unwinding process will be taking place over a 12-month period.

Connecticut residents who remain eligible for HUSKY Health will likely be automatically reenrolled; those who need to take action will receive mail with instructions about when they need to take action.

This is an updated version of a similar post from last month, when the legislation passed the MN Senate.

As I've written about several times, recently New Mexico passed (and Gov. Lujan Grisham signed) the first "true" Public Option bill, which will allow any permanent New Mexico resident to enroll in Medicaid regardless of income via a sliding premium scale. Today there's big Public Option news in another state: Minnesota.

The main distinction between the New Mexico and Minnesota approaches has to do with which existing publicly-funded healthcare program they're based on. While New Mexico went with Medicaid (which half the state's population is already enrolled in anyway), Minnesota is basing theirs on their Basic Health Plan program, MinnesotaCare. I first wrote about this back in February.

District of Columbia

via the District of Columbia Dept. of Insurance, Securities & Banking (DISB):

This page contains proposed health plan rate information for the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace, DC Health Link, for plan year 2024.

The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) received 215 proposed health insurance plan rates for review from Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser and United Healthcare in advance of open enrollment for plan year 2024 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 2024 plan year. Overall, 215 plans were filed, compared to 238 last year. The number of small group plans decreased from 211 to 188, while the number of individual plans remained at 27.

Via the Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services (Division of Financial Regulation):

Salem – Oregon consumers can get a first look at requested rates for 2024 individual and small group health insurance plans, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today.

In the individual market, six companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average 3.5 percent to 8.5 percent increase, for a weighted average increase of 6.2 percent. That average increase is slightly lower than last year's requested weighted average increase of 6.7 percent.

In the small group market, eight companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average 0.8 percent to 12.4 percent increase, for a weighted average increase of 8.1 percent, which is higher than last year's requested 6.9 percent average increase.


And here...we...go...

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: