Every year, I spend months 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:
How many effectuated enrollees they have enrolled in ACA-compliant individual market policies;
What their average projected premium rate change is for those enrollees (assuming 100% of them renew their existing policies, of course); and
Ideally, a breakout of the reasons behind those rate changes, since there's usually more than one.
Usually I begin this process in late April or early May, but this year I've been swamped with other spring/summer projects: My state-by-state Medicaid Enrollment project and my state/county-level COVID-19 vaccination rate project.
Now that I've developed a standardized format/layout & methodology for tracking both state- and county-level COVID vaccination levels by partisan lean (which can also be easily applied to other variables like education level, median income, population density, ethnicity, etc), I've started moving beyond my home state of Michigan.
Delaware, Hawaii and Rhode Island only have 3, 6 and 5 counties respectively, so it seemed a little silly to run separate graphs for each one (I was already pushing it by giving Connecticut (8 counties) its own entry). So...I've merged all three onto one graph.
It also seemed a bit disingenous to try and come to any conclusions about a trendline with these three states in particular, so I didn't bother (not that there's much to make of that anyway...every county in these states is running between 40 - 65% vaccinated, and within 30-55% Trump support...except for tiny Kalawao, Hawaii, which only has 86 residents (none of whom appear to have been vaccinated yet, according to the CDC?), which I didn't bother listing at all.
Anyway, I'm including them mostly for completeness sake.
2020 Presidential Election results via DE, HI & RI Secretary of State's office (thru Wikipedia)
Hawaii only has two carriers participating in the Individual health insurance market. For 2020, they're reducing unsubsidized premiums by 1.7%.
COVID-19 isn't listed as a factor at all by either of the carriers, nor by any of the small group carriers in Hawaii either...which makes total sense since Hawaii has the lowest rate of COVID-19 infection in the country.
The small group carriers are requesting a weighted average reduction of 2% as well, although one of the four doesn't have their actual rate change or current enrollment available yet, so this could change.
Louisiana's 2020 Presidential primary was scheduled for April 4th, but the other day Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin agreed to reschedule it for June 20th...which is actually later than the last previously-scheduled primary in the U.S. Virgin Islands on June 6th:
The presidential primary elections in Louisiana slated for April will be delayed by two months, the latest in a series of dramatic steps government leaders have taken to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, Republican, and Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, both said Friday they would use a provision of state law that allows them to move any election in an emergency situation to delay the primary.
The presidential primary elections, initially scheduled for April 4th, will now be held June 20th. Ardoin said in a press conference he does not know of any other states that have moved elections because of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19.
But that's not all! In addition to the actual 2018 MLR rebates, I've gone one step further and have taken an early crack at trying to figure out what 2019 MLR rebates might end up looking like next year (for the Individual Market only). In order to do this, I had to make several very large assumptions:
Hawaii only has two carriers participating in the Individual health insurance market. For 2020, they're reducing unsubsidized premiums slightly.
The state's small group market has four carriers; unfortunately, only one of the four (Kaiser Foundation Health Plan) has posted their enrollment data; the other three are redacted. The unweighted average increase on the small group market is a mere 0.8%, however.
With the 2019 Open Enrollment Period quickly approaching, I'm spending a lot of time swapping out the requested carrier rate changes from earlier this summer with the approved rate changes from state regulators.
Hawaii only has two carriers participating in the ACA-compliant individual market: HMSA and Kaiser, which requested rate increases of 2.72% and 28.6% respectively back in August. With a roughly 57/42 market share split, this resulted in a weighted average rate increase of 13.8%, which would likely have been closer to 3.8% if the ACA's individual mandate penalty hadn't been repealed.
It took me four full months for me to analyse the 2019 ACA rate filings for the first 30 states, but the remaining 20 should come fast & furious starting today, because it looks like they were all finally uploaded to the official RateReview.HealthCare.Gov website earlier this afternoon.
Case in point: Hawaii. There's four carrier listings at RR.HC.gov, but this is misleading; two of them are basically double-listed (Hawaii Medical Service Association separated out their PPOs and HMOs into separate listings, but the filing itself merges both; the same is true of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, whish has On and Off-Exchange policies listed separately in the database but again merges them into the same filing). In reality, Hawaii only has two carriers on the Individual Market as they have for years.