COVID-19

A few weeks back, one of my COVID "partisan lean" graphs was cited by David Leonhardt of the New York Times. This paragraph in question gained plenty of attention, and ended up being referenced by Nicole Wallace on Deadline: White House; Morning Joe; Raw Story and Paul Waldman of the Washington Post:

Since Delta began circulating widely in the U.S., Covid has exacted a horrific death toll on red America: In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000.

Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Insurance Department put out the following press release about a week ago:

Oklahoma Consumers Have More Health Insurance Options for 2022 ACA Plans

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) announced today which health health insurance companies will be offering plans in the Oklahoma Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace for 2022. Two new insurers will be joining the Marketplace next year giving Oklahoma consumers more health insurance options. Starting this year, consumers will also have an extra 30 days to make plan selections during the ACA Open Enrollment Period for individual health insurance plans running from November 1, 2021 through January 15, 2022.

Ohio

The Ohio Insurance Department does this weird thing where they list all of the carriers offering policies on the individual market and list the weighted average year over year premium change...but they don't list the actual rate increases for each carrier.

For the small group market I don't think they even do that; I have to rely on the federal Rate Review site, which almost never provides enrollment data.

Fortunately, for the indy market at least, all of the requested rate filings are available via the SERFF database, along with enrollment figures for 9 of the 10 carriers in the market. For the tenth (AuitCare), I used an estimate based on last years' hard number. Unfortunately, I still don't know the approved rates for any of them, but it looks like the state regulators chopped them down somwhat, since the weighted average comes in at 4.8% vs. the requested 8.4% statewide.

For the small group market, I can't run a weighted average, but the unweighted increase is 5.1%.

North Carolina

The most remarkable thing about North Carolina's 2022 ACA carrier rate filings aren't the rate changes themselves--they range from -15% to +14.6%, nothing shocking--but the sheer explosion in competition coming to both the individual and small group markets.

NC's indy market is going from five carriers to ten in one shot, with Aetna, AmeriHealth, Celtic, Friday and UnitedHealthcare all jumping into the risk pool. On the small group side, there are two new entrants: Bright Health and Friday Health Plans.

In any event, overall, the average preliminary rate increase for unsubsidized enrollees is averaging 8.7%, while small group plans are going up by an average of 9.8%.

New Mexico

New Mexico's final/approved 2022 premium rate changes are now live, though the searchable database seems to be having some technical layout glitches. For some reason there's a good 5-6 entries for each carrier instead of just 2 (one for the individual market, one for small group plans); I think this is because New Mexico requires separate filings for on- and off-exchange policies, although there seem to be duplicates even then.

In any event, of the 30+ states I've written up so far, New Mexico has by far the highest average unsubsidized rate increases, at 15.5%. Most of this is due to Molina Healthcare's shocking 25.6% increase, which seems to have been approved as is. True Health is also asking for double-digit increases on the individual market.

The Small Group market in the Land of Enchantment is also in the double digits, at +11.5% on average. Presbyterian not only has two small group entries, they seem to have dramatically different enrollment numbers for each; I'm not sure what to make of that.

Washington State

Back in July, I posted a summary of Washington State's preliminary 2022 ACA premium rate change filings for the individual and small group markets. At the time, WA carriers were requesting average increases of 5.5% for the former and 4.1% for the latter. 

A few weeks back (Sept. 20th), the state insurance dept. issued their final/approved rate changes for 2022...but only for the individual market, and even then, only for carriers offering on-exchange policies. The small group filings and those for 3 of the 15 individual market carriers which only offer off-exchange policies are still pending review. However, those three only have a combined total enrollment of around 1,300 people, and the requested rate change for one of them partly cancels out the other two, so unless there's some truly eyebrow-raising changes to the final rates, I don't expect this to move the needle much:

Average 4.17% rate change approved for 2022 Exchange health insurance market

New Jersey

via the New Jersey Dept. of Banking & Insurance:

NJ Department of Banking and Insurance Announces More Health Insurance Offerings in 2022, Record Levels of Financial Help Available for Another Year at Get Covered New Jersey

  • 9 in 10 enrolling on the marketplace qualify for financial help; majority of consumers receiving assistance can find a plan for $10 a month or less

TRENTON — The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance today announced that consumers shopping for 2022 health coverage this fall at Get Covered New Jersey, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, will continue to benefit from record levels of financial help available from the federal American Rescue Plan and the State of New Jersey. Consumers will also have more choice, with the entry into the market of a new health insurance company, Ambetter from WellCare of New Jersey, increasing the number of carriers offering plans on the marketplace.

Minnesota

via MNSure:

Minnesota Families Will Save an Average of $684 per Year and Access More Heath Plan Choices in 2022

ST. PAUL, Minn.—The Minnesota Department of Commerce and MNsure released information today on 2022 health plan rates and options in advance of the open enrollment period, which begins November 1.

On average, Minnesota families will save $684 per year and will be able to access more health plan choices than previous years. More Minnesotans than ever before are eligible to receive tax credits to lower monthly premium costs through federal funding provided in the American Rescue Plan. Minnesotans who buy their own individual health insurance for 2022 will have access to hundreds of dollars in savings when choosing health plans via MNsure. Minnesotans will also be able to choose from more health plan options being offered through MNsure.

District of Columbia

via DC Health Link:

District Announces 2022 Health Insurance Rates

(Washington, DC) - Today, the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) announced the 2022 approved individual and small business health insurance rates. As a result of the Department’s review, most insurers decreased their initial rate proposals, which will save District residents more than $16 million.

“On behalf of the Bowser Administration, DISB performed a thorough review of 157 small group plans and 27 individual plans to ensure that they meet the District’s standards and provide non-discriminatory, accessible and affordable health insurance for our residents,” said DISB Commissioner Karima M. Woods.

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