Ohio: RATE-HIKE-A-PALOOZA! Six more states added at once!
2018 MIDTERM ELECTION
Time: D H M S
Protect Our Care is a healthcare advocacy coalition created last December to help fight back against the GOP's attempts to repeal, sabotage and otherwise undermine the Affordable Care Act. This morning they released a report which compiled the approved 2018 individual market rate increases across over two dozen states.
Needless to say, they found that the vast majority of the state insurance regulators and/or carriers themselves are pinning a large chunk (and in some cases, nearly all) of the rate hikes for next year specifically on Trump administration sabotage efforts...primarily uncertainty over CSR payment reimbursements and, to a lesser extent, uncertainty over enforcement of the individual mandate penalty.
Anyone who follows this site knows that this is hardly shocking news; I've been laser-focused on this issue for the past five months or so. I've already compiled and broken out the average rate increases for 22 of the 28 states covered by the Protect Our Care report. The average increases in my spreadsheets differ from some of the numbers in the POC report because I also include the off-exchange ACA-compliant market (which isn't always included in the sources cited by POC's report), and because I make sure to weight the averages by relative carrier enrollment share of the market. For these reasons, the Protect Our Care report normally wouldn't have caught my eye, though obviously it's a good thing for the sabotage issue to get more exposure.
However, POC has also tracked down the approved rate increases for six additional states which I hadn't yet compiled...which makes this exciting to a healthcare data nerd like myself! They've helped me fill in the blanks for Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota and Utah. So without further ado, here's Ohio:
The Protect Our Care report quotes this passage from the official Ohio Insurance Dept. website:
Premium Information for 2018
...the average cost of coverage for individual plans sold on the federal exchange in 2018 will be 34 percent higher than the average cost of coverage in 2017. Approximately 11 percent of that increase is attributable to the assumption that insurers will not receive Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) payments in 2018.
The average cost of insurance in the small group market has stayed level from 2017 to 2018 – with only an increase of one-half of one percent. Overall, the weighted average premium has increase 84% from 2013 to 2018, from $4,041.66 to $7,444.34.
Ohioans who buy health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchange will see premiums rise by 34 percent on average in 2018, the Ohio Department of Insurance said today.
Premiums were already expected to rise sharply. Today's release of figures makes it official, coming just after state regulators reviewed insurers' requests and made sure they complied with Affordable Care Act, or ACA, guidelines and state underwriting standards.
The average includes an extra 11 percent insurers built in with the expectation that President Donald Trump's administration will no longer provide cost-sharing payments, or payments insurers previously got for holding down out-of-pocket costs for lower-income customers. Insurers are still bound by the ACA to provide those customer discounts -- so without the federal payments, they say they must raise their prices on corresponding policies.
Unfortunately, I can't tell whether the 34% figure includes off-exchange policies as well...but given how close the final, approved numbers are to what I had back in August (which did include off-exchange enrollees), I'd say it probably does.
So: 23% if CSRs are paid, 34% if they aren't.