North Carolina

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%.

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%.

North Carolina

I've once again relaunched my project from last fall to track Medicaid enrollment (both standard and expansion alike) on a monthly basis for every state dating back to the ACA being signed into law.

For the various enrollment data, I'm using data from Medicaid.gov's Medicaid Enrollment Data Collected Through MBES reports. Unfortunately, they've only published enrollment data through December 2020. In most states I've been able to get more recent enrollment data from state websites and other sources. For 2021 North Carolina data, I'm using estimates based on raw data from the North Carolina Dept. of Health & Human Services.

North Carolina 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).

North Carolina

 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.

Here's North Carolina:

NOTE: The CDC lists ~145,000 North Carolina residents (4.0% of the total fully vaccinated) whose county of residence is unknown.

Gold Bars

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.

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.

If you have a fairly healthy year, you really could go the entire year without paying a dime in healthcare costs while still taking advantage of many of these free services, and also having the peace of mind that in a worst-case scenario, at least you wouldn't go bankrupt. Not perfect, but a lot better than going bare especially since you wouldn't pay a dime in premiums.

I've written several times about how Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado has repeatedly shown sickening levels of chutzpah and gaslighting when it comes to the Affordable Care Act:

In a pathetic attempt to gaslight Colorado voters, Gardner is now trying to paint himself as supporting healthcare expansion, going so far as to try to claim credit for passage and approval of last year's Section 1332 Reinsurance Waiver program which dramatically reduced premiums for unsubsidized individual market enrollees throughout Colorado...even though a) he didn't have a damned thing to do with it and b) the reinsurance program was only able to be developed thanks to the Affordable Care Act...which Gardner has repeatedly voted to repeal.

The North Carolina Insurance Dept. has published a summary of the preliminary premium rate changes requested by insurance carriers for the indvidual and small group markets in 2021.

The good news is they include the number of people enrolled by each carrier in both markets, making it easy to calculate a weighted average, and th ey even include the SERFF tracking number for each.

The bad news is they don't include links to the actuarial memos, and even plugging the tracking numbers into the SERFF database only brings up the memos for three of the six carriers on the individual market...and of those, two of the three have been redacted (Oscar and Cigna), while the third (UnitedHealthcare) is brand-new to the North Carolina market anyway and therefore has no COVID-19 impact on their rate changes to speak of.

 As you can tell, I've become a bit obsessed with tracking the COVID-19 outbreak on the county level within each state, along with the corresponding partisan divide.

Today, I'm looking at North Carolina. The good news is that I was able to acquire daily case & death data going back over a month. The bad news is that it stops a month ago...that is, the earliest day I could find county-level data for was April 4th, which means I'm missing about two weeks worth of numbers from the second half of March (most states I've looked at so far start around March 20th).

Still, even with the first two weeks missing, the trendline is pretty clear: Once again, what started out as a "Democratic area problem" has quickly shifted into an Everyone problem. It looks like things have stabilized at roughly a 50/50 divide, with around the same number of cases appearing in counties which voted for Donald Trump in 2016 as HIllary Clinton:

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