Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), approved Medicaid section 1115 demonstration initiatives in Arizona that will help the state take aim at health-related social needs. Like recently approved demonstrations in Oregon and Massachusetts, Arizona’s demonstration will test innovative interventions that target critical drivers of health outcomes, including housing insecurity.
“Everyone deserves the chance to receive the care they need to live safe and healthy lives,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We are proud to work with Arizona in this groundbreaking effort. We will continue doing all we can to strengthen Medicaid, and urge states to follow Arizona’s lead.”
There's two significant changes this year: One new entrant to the individual market (Imperial Insurance) and one major withdrawl...Bright Health Co., which I wrote about earlier today; they had around 19,700 enrollees in the AZ individual market as of a year ago, though I don't know how many are enrolled at the moment.
In any event, Arizona is looking at a weighted average rate increase of 4.3% on the individual market (for unsubsidized enrollees only), and 8.2% on the small group market:
Arizona Announces Extension of Major Medical Transitional Policies Until Further Notice
Phoenix - The Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions (DIFI) announced that insurers in the individual and small group major medical health insurance markets can choose to renew "transitional policies" for a policy year beginning after October 1, 2022, and thereafter until CMS modifies its non-enforcement policy. Transitional policies are policies that individuals had in place before the Affordable Care Act went into full effect on January 1, 2014.
This extension aligns with the extension announced by the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) in Insurance Standards Bulletin Series – INFORMATION – Extension of Limited Non-Enforcement Policy through 2023 and Later Benefit Years. The Bulletin gives insurers the option to annually renew applicable pre-2014 individual and small group policies until further notice. Approximately 30,000 Arizonans have health insurance coverage through a transitional plan.
MICHIGAN: Another One (Mostly) Bites The Dust; 12th CO-OP Drops Off Exchange, May Go Belly-Up
It appears that East Lansing-based Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan could wind down operations this year as it is not participating in the state health insurance exchange for 2016.
But officials of Consumers Mutual today are discussing several options that could determine its future status with the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services, said David Eich, marketing and public relations officer with Consumers Mutual.
Consumers Mutual CEO Dennis Litos said: "We are reviewing our situation (financial condition) with DIFS and should conclude on a future direction this week.”
While Eich said he could not disclose the options, he said one is “winding down” the company, which has 28,000 members, including about 6,000 on the exchange.
Depending on the state & carrier, some of these can be found easily; others are either heavily redacted, partial, not available until later in the year; and some are never made available at all.
In addition to the filings for the upcoming year, however, the SERFF database also includes a mountain of other filing forms, from non-ACA compliant insurance policies (short-term, indemnity, etc.) and from previous years (I have no idea how far back they go, but I'm guessing it's at least since the turn of the century). This also includes "grandfathered" and "grandmothered" policies.
Back in mid-August I posted my analysis of Arizona's preliminary 2022 rate filings for the 2022 individual & small group health insurance markets. At the time, I wasn't able to get ahold of the actual carrier actuarial memos which include the number of people enrolled in those policies in 2021, which means I wasn't able to run a weighted average rate change for either market.
As a result, I had to go with unweighted averages, which are far less useful since how much a carrier with a huge market share changes their premiums will have a much bigger impact on the statewide average than one with only a handful of enrollees.
Arizona is a case in point: At the time, the unweighted average was a 4.8% reduction on the individual market and a 7.7% increase for small group plans.
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%.