Kansas is yet another state where the actuarial memos are heavily redacted, making it extremely difficult to get ahold of the actual enrollment numbers for the individual or small group markets. Once again, without knowing how many Kansans are enrolled in each carriers insurance policies, I have no way of running a weighted average, and therefore can only provide an unweighted average.
With that in mind, for 2024 Kansas individual market carriers are requesting an unweighted average rate increase of 4.5%. One carrier (US Health & Life) does provide an unredacted summary with enrollment, but they're a tiny part of the market which doesn't help much. The small group market carriers are likewise asking for a 4.7% unweighted average rate hike.
It's worth noting that Cigna appears to be leaving the states individual market, while Humana is leaving the small group market...which I've noticed is happening in several other states that Humana currently offers small group plans in as well.
UPDATE 11/02/23: The final/approved rates have been posted to the Kansas Insurance Dept. website; it looks like everything was approved pretty much as is on the individual market, and there was only one carrier request modified on the small group market (UnitedHealthcare was reduced from a 6.1% increase to 3.9%).
Note: I decided that while the original headline accurately reflected my feelings about this WSJ Op-Ed, it was a bit over the top, so I've changed it to something less crude.
For years, the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, generally shorthanded as the ACA or, more colloquially known as "Obamacare," was the top policy target of Republicans and other conservatives.
It seemed as though not a day went by without some right-wing opinion piece being published attacking the ACA for one thing or another. Once in awhile these attacks had some validity, but the vast majority were either completely baseless or grossly exaggerated.
And yet, after the dust settled on the infamous 2017 ACA "repeal/replace" debacle, it seemed as though the GOP had pretty much tired of their relentless assault on the healthcare law. They had failed to repeal it even with control of the White House, Senate, House of Representatives and Supreme Court, and ended up settling for zeroing out of the federal Individual Mandate Penalty as a consolation prize.
The small group market rates are unchanged; the requested premium changes, which have an unweighted average hike of 7.2%, were approved as is. On the individual market, there were some slight reductions from requested rates for BCBS of KC, Sunflower/Ambetter, Medica, Oscar and US Health & Life. As a result, the semi-weighted average increase will be about a point lower (+7.2% vs. +8.3%).
I say semi-weighted because I only have the actual enrollment data for some of the carriers; for the others, I assumed equal enrollment for each of the remaining carriers based on the total statewide individual market size. I may be off on this, but it shouldn't move the needle too much if I am.
Also worth noting: UnitedHealthcare is joining the Kansas individual market for 2023.
(sigh) Once again, the Kansas Insurance Dept. is supremely unhelpful when it comes to providing information about individual & small group market health insurance premium rate changes. Not only are the ACA plans not listed in the state's SERFF database or on the department's website, even the actuarial memos available at the federal Rate Review website are heavily redacted.
As a result, I only have the actual enrollment numbers for a handful of carriers, preventing me from being able to calculate a properly weighted average. With enrollment data for three of the six carriers on the individual market, and based on an estimated total individual market enrollment of 110,000 Kansans, the average increase should be around 8.3%, give or take (the unweighted average is 9.8%).
For the small group market, I don't have any hard enrollment data, so can only run the unweighted average increase, which is around 7.2%.
As I note there, the overall weighted average looks like it'll be roughly +3.5% nationally.
Normally I write up a separate entry for both the preliminary and approved rate changes in each individual state, but it seems like overkill to create 14 separate entries at once. Besides, in many of these states there's been few if any changes between the preliminary and approved rate changes.
(sigh) Once again, the Kansas Insurance Dept. is supremely unhelpful when it comes to providing information about individual & small group market health insurance premium rate changes. Not only are the ACA plans not listed in the state's SERFF database or on the department's website, even the actuarial memos available at the federal Rate Review website are heavily redacted. As a result, I only have the actual enrollment numbers for a handful of carriers, preventing me from being able to calculate a weighted average (or to estimate the state's total ACA enrollment size, for that matter).
The unweighted average rate increase on Kansas' individual market is +8.3%, and it's +5.6% for the small group market, anyway.
Kansas is one of 12 states which still hasn't expanded Medicaid eligibility under the ACA (13 if you include Missouri, whose voters expanded the program last year...but which the state legislature refuses to fund).
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.
NOTE: This is an updated version of a post from a couple of months ago. Since then, there's been a MASSIVELY important development: The passage of the American Rescue Plan, which includes a dramatic upgrade in ACA subsidies for not only the millions of people already receiving them, but for millions more who didn't previously qualify for financial assistance.
Much has been written by myself and others (especially the Kaiser Family Foundation) about the fact that millions of uninsured Americans are eligible for ZERO PREMIUM Bronze ACA healthcare policies.
I say "Zero Premium" instead of "Free" because there's still deductibles and co-pays involved, although all ACA plans also include a long list of free preventative services from physicals and blood screenings to mammograms and immunizations with no deductible or co-pay involved.