The South Carolina Insurance Dept. has posted their final/approved 2023 rate filings for both the Individual and Small Group markets. Unlike the preliminary filings, which they didn't make easily available, the final filings are pretty clear cut. They don't include the enrollment data for each carrier, but most of that is available via the the federal Rate Review website and/or SERFF databases for the indy market. For the small group market, I was only able to find the number of policyholders, not actual enrollees, although that should still give a fairly close approximation to the relative market share.
On the individual market, average rates are going up around 7.3%, which is down a solid amount from the originally-requested average rate hike of 10.4%. The biggest news on SC's indy market is that Bright Health is dropping out (as they are everywhere else as well), while Cigna and Select Health are joining the ACA exchange.
On the small group market it doesn't look like there are any changes to who's participating. The average rate increase is 4.6%, which is actually down a bit from the 5.5% requested average (mostly due to Blue Cross/Blue Choice having their increases shaved down).
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.
The South Carolina Insurance Dept. website isn't particularly helpful when it comes to getting the annual rate filing data for these analyses--they post a link to the federal Rate Review website and the SERFF database, but that's it...and most of the filings don't show up in SERFF, while many Rate Review database actuarial memos are all heavily redacted.
Fortunately, this year the Rate Review database has Consumer Justification Narratives for 4 of the 5 carriers participating in SC's individual market (Bright Health Co. appears to be dropping out of the state's indy market). While the fifth one is missing (Molina), I can make an educated guess as to their enrollment based on South Carolina's total individual market size, which should be roughly 300,000 people, give or take.
Based on that, it looks like SC carriers are asking for around a 10.4% average rate hike in 2023.
For the small group market, all of the actuarial memos are redacted, so all I have is the unweighted 2022 average rate changes, which comes in at +5.4%.
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Tennessee and South Carolina can begin offering Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage for 12 months postpartum to an estimated 22,000 and 16,000 pregnant and postpartum individuals, respectively, through a new state plan opportunity made available by the American Rescue Plan.
Tennessee and South Carolina join Louisiana, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, and Illinois in extending Medicaid and CHIP coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum. CMS is also working with another nine states and the District of Columbia to extend postpartum coverage for 12 months after pregnancy, including California, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. As a result of these efforts, as many as 720,000 pregnant and postpartum individuals across the United States could be guaranteed Medicaid and CHIP coverage for 12 months after pregnancy.
A week or so ago, I posted an analysis of the preliminary rate filings for South Carolina's 2022 individual & small group markets.
At the time, I wasn't able to find the actual filing forms and was thus limited to running unweighted averages for both markets, which came to a flat year over year increase in the individua market and a 4.4% reduction in small group plans.
Since then, however, I've managed to find the SERFF database filings for all carriers, and can now run weighted averages for approved rates in both markets.
Overall, they come in at a weighted average increase of 3.1% for the individual market and 2.1% for small group plans. It's also worth noting that I was wrong about UnitedHealthcare dropping out of the small group market--it looks like they're instead replacing all of their current policies with new ones, which means there's technically no actual "rate changes" since the existing offerings are being terminated and thus have nothing to compare against:
Unfortunately, the South Carolina Insurance Dept. website isn't particularly helpful when it comes to getting the annual rate filing data for these analyses--they post a link to the federal Rate Review website and the SERFF database, but that's it...and most of the filings don't show up in SERFF, while the Rate Review database actuarial memos are all heavily redacted.
As a result, all I have is the unweighted 2022 average rate changes, which are basically flat for the individual market and down around 4.4% for small group plans.
The other noteworthy item is that it looks like UnitedHealthcare is pulling completely out of South Carolina's ACA-compliant small group market, though it's possible that they just haven't been added to the federal Rate Review database yet.
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.
I actually never got around to analyzing the preliminary rate filings for SC, so I don't actually know whether any of these are changes from the original filings, but whatever. In the end, the Palmetto State's individual market premiums will be dropping by about 1.5%, while their small group rates will be increasing by 4.7% on average.
It's also worth noting that UnitedHealthcare of SC is joining the South Carolina small group market for the first time next year (not to be confused with "UnitedHealthcare Insurance Co." and "UnitedHealthcare Insurance Co. of the River Valley...no confusion there I'm sure...)