Tag Archives: rates

Covering premium rate increases for 2015? Check out these resources first

Image by photosteve101 via flickr.

Image by photosteve101 via flickr.

As the nation’s health insurers file rate requests with state insurance departments, the news about health insurance premium increases is coming out almost daily now. The deadline for submitting rate requests on the marketplaces is June 27.

Premium rate review is an important story, obviously, because it begins to answer the question of what consumers will pay for insurance next year as Louise Radnofsky reported in The Wall Street Journal.

But it’s also a complex story because what health insurers propose now is not necessarily what consumers will pay next year, and, in fact, insurance rate requests are only part of the story, as Trudy Lieberman reported last week in the Columbia Journalism Review.

I’ve collected a number of other resources that explain the process of rate review, the economic factors and effects of rate changes, tips on how to find out if your state has an effective rate review process and how to get health insurance rate filings. See the tip sheet about premium rate reviews. 

What to watch for when insurers announce premium rate requests this month

Photo by Truthout.org via flickr.

Photo by Truthout.org via flickr.

Insurers are preparing to announce their premium rates for 2015. To learn how insurers set rates, Families USA and Consumers Union (the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports) will host a national conference call on Thursday at noon ET for health care journalists.

Premium rates will be one of the biggest stories of the year because so much depends on whether they will rise by double digits or stay at about 10 percent, as they have in recent years. If rates rise much above double digits, Republicans in congressional midterm races are likely to use that information against Democrats who support the Affordable Care Act. If rates are at 10 percent or below, Democrats may be able to fend off such criticism.

Last week, Kelly Kennedy reported in USA Today that health insurance premiums grew an average of 10 percent annually in the three years before the ACA was enacted. She cited a report (PDF) from The Commonwealth Fund, “Growth and Variability in Health Plan Premiums in the Individual Insurance Market Before the Affordable Care Act” that explained the recent history of insurance rate increases. Continue reading