via Dan Diamond at the Washington Post:

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency on Thursday in an effort to galvanize awareness and unlock additional flexibility and funding to fight the virus’s spread.

“We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus,” Becerra said at a Thursday press briefing.

The health secretary is also considering a second declaration empowering federal officials to expedite medical countermeasures, such as potential treatments and vaccines, without going through full-fledged federal reviews. That would also allow for greater flexibility in how the current supply of vaccines is administered, Becerra said.

...Federal officials Thursday afternoon said they were still finalizing the formal declaration of a public health emergency, which would be posted on an HHS webpage.

via the White House website:

President Biden will issue an Executive Order on Securing Access to Reproductive and Other Healthcare Services, building on actions that the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to protect access to reproductive healthcare services and defend women’s fundamental rights.  The President kick off the Vice President’s first meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access. At the meeting, the Cabinet will discuss their progress and the path forward to address the women’s health crisis in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.


Through today’s Executive Order, the President will announce actions to:


Wyoming is the smallest state and only has two carriers offering individual market policies (and just three offering small group plans). This makes it pretty simple for me.

Unfortunately, neither their insurance department website nor their SERFF filings give any indication of the enrollment numbers for any of the carriers. Fortunately, the federal rate review website does list enrollment for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming...which also has something like 95% of the individual market share in the state. By estimating the enrollment for the 2nd carrier (Montana Health Co-Op), I should be pretty close to the weighted average...a pretty ugly 18.5% average rate hike. Ouch.

It's no better on the small group side, although I don't have the actual enrollment for the other two carriers; the unweighted average is "only" an 11.9% increase, but it's over 20% for BCBSWY enrollees.

South Carolina

The South Carolina Insurance Dept. website isn't particularly helpful when it comes to getting the annual rate filing data for these analyses--they post a link to the federal Rate Review website and the SERFF database, but that's it...and most of the filings don't show up in SERFF, while many Rate Review database actuarial memos are all heavily redacted.

Fortunately, this year the Rate Review database has Consumer Justification Narratives for 4 of the 5 carriers participating in SC's individual market (Bright Health Co. appears to be dropping out of the state's indy market). While the fifth one is missing (Molina), I can make an educated guess as to their enrollment based on South Carolina's total individual market size, which should be roughly 300,000 people, give or take.

Based on that, it looks like SC carriers are asking for around a 10.4% average rate hike in 2023.

For the small group market, all of the actuarial memos are redacted, so all I have is the unweighted 2022 average rate changes, which comes in at +5.4%.

Via email (no direct link to PR yet):

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

New HHS Report Shows National Uninsured Rate Reached All-Time Low in 2022

Secretary Becerra Says Biden-Harris Administration Efforts to Expand Coverage, Lower Costs through American Rescue Plan and Other Actions Are Working


Utah's preliminary 2022 individual and small group market rate filings are listed below. They launched a handy new website specifically dedicated to insurance filings, which is nice to see.

Unless there's a change in the final/approved rates, unsubsidized individual market plan premiums are increasing by around 6.0% in 2023, while small group plans will go up 6.7% on average.


I can't overstate how much I wish every state was as good as Pennsylvania is at not only making their annual rate filings publicly available on the state insurance dept. website, but doing so in such a clear, simple format, while also including a consistent summary page for every carrier!

As a result of this attention to transparency and detail, I was able to put together my Pennsylvania analysis pretty quickly even though they hae a huge number of carriers on both their individual and small group markets.

Via the Pennsylvania Insurance Dept:

Insurance Department Releases 2023 Proposed ACA Rates And Health Plans

​Harrisburg, PA – Acting Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphreys today released the 2023 requested rate filings for insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. As filed, 2023 will see increased competition and more choices for consumers within some counties. Both the individual and small group rate requests will result in a moderate statewide average increase.


Alaska is also a sparsely populated state with only two carriers on their individual market and four on their small group market. Alaska's insurance department website is useless when it comes to getting rate filings or enrollment data; I had to use the federal Rate Review site to even get the requested rate changes.

Fortunately, Premera Blue Cross includes a summary which lists their enrollment numbers, and with Moda being the only other carrier on the market, I was able to estimate a weighted average (assuming Moda only has around 2,200 enrollees, which seems about right given Alaska's total on-exchange enrollment of roughly 23,000 people).

Average rate change for unsubsidized enrollees in 2022 will be an ugly 18.7% on the individual market...underscoring how vitally important it is that the American Rescue Plan subsidies be extended (preferably permanently).

On the small group market, the unweighted average increase is 4.8%.

North Carolina

North Carolina has posted their preliminary 2023 individual and small group market rate filings. For the most part there's nothing terribly interesting or unusual that catches my eye, although I am a bit curious about Bright Health Co. and Friday Health Plans on the small group market. Both of them supposedly just entered the North Carolina sm. group market in 2022 and both are supposedly dropping out of it in 2023...or at least neither one of them is listed on the 2023 filing summary. Huh.

It's also worth noting that the enrollment totals for each carrier are projected for 2023, not current, though I'd imagine the relative market share is roughly the same, which would mean the weighted average rate increase would be around the same statewide as well.


Missouri's insurance dept. has released the proposed 2022 rate filings for both the individual and small group markets. Overall, individual market carriers are requesting rate hikes of 11.1% on average, while the small group market carriers are asking for an average 11.8% increase.

It's worth noting that each market has a new entrant for 2022: UnitedHealthcare is joining the individual market while National Health Insurance is jumping into the off-exchange Small Group market.