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Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:56 PM

Big health insurance rate hikes are plummeting

The number of double-digit rate increases requested by health insurers has plummeted over the past four years, according to a Friday report from the Obama administration.

Researchers combed through data available from the 15 states that publicly post all requests for rate increases in the individual market. They found that, in 2009, 74 percent of all requests came in above 10 percent. By 2012, that number had fallen to 35 percent. Preliminary data for 2013, which only cover a handful of states, shows 14 percent of rate increases asking for a double-digit bump. Here’s what this looks like in chart form:



Does Obamacare get credit? The administration thinks so: Officials there argue that this has a lot to do with the health law’s rate review program, which requires all rate hikes above 10 percent to undergo additional regulatory scrutiny. Each of the rates gets reviewed by a state or federal regulator and determined “reasonable” or “unreasonable.”

The provision started in September 2011, and that’s right when you see the steep decline in big rate hikes start.

“The sharp drop in requests for increases of 10 percent or more is most likely the result of the increased scrutiny that rate increases of 10 percent or more now receive,” the report states.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/22/big-health-insurance-rate-hikes-are-plummeting/

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Reply Big health insurance rate hikes are plummeting (Original post)
Playinghardball Feb 2013 OP
Wounded Bear Feb 2013 #1
Skip Intro Feb 2013 #2
drm604 Feb 2013 #3
Swede Atlanta Feb 2013 #4
enlightenment Feb 2013 #5
Ruby the Liberal Feb 2013 #6

Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:01 PM

1. So we have a drop in the percentage of increases?

Lord save us from statisticians.....

Hey, I know it's good news. Just.....just......

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:10 PM

2. We have a drop in double-digit increases. In the individual market. In fifteen states. nt

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Response to Skip Intro (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:48 PM

3. Those are the 15 states that publicly post rate increase requests,

and therefore the only ones that could be evaluated.

30% of states had a drop. It would be quite a coincidence if the rate of increases was plummeting in only those 15.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:05 PM

4. I cannot tie the slowing to the ACA but......

 

I keep track of what I pay for my employer-subsidized health insurance.

During the 1990s, the average increase per year was about 4.5%. There were no significant changes in co-pays or limits during that period. From 2002 to 2007 the average annual increase was significantly larger, nearly 6.5 to 7%. In 2008 to 2010 it dropped to an average of about 5.5%. Starting in 2011 the increases were markedly lower, only 3-4%. My premium increase for 2013 was just under 3%.

During this period the co-pays, limits, etc. remained virtually unchanged.

I hear people screaming about how much their insurance has increased and hear the news of huge and unsustainable increases in premiums but I haven't experienced it.

What I have noticed in the past 2 years is my employer being more focused on "wellness" by agreeing to pay $10.00 per month toward a gym membership provided you visit the gym at least 10 times during the month (no monitoring) and sponsoring health fairs where blood work is done at no charge with BP checks, etc. Additionally they are offering under some plans up to $750.00 into your HSA if you have an annual physical and those results are shared with an insurer nurse practitioner that reviews and suggests diet and lifestyle changes.

The focus on wellness is a big change and something I hope we see more of in the future.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:12 PM

5. 2009 is an interesting year to start

charting. I'd like to see something earlier, for comparison. It might be useful to know.

It is also interesting that the cited article says:


The number of double-digit rate increases requested by health insurers has plummeted over the past four years, according to a Friday report from the Obama administration.


and provides a link, "Friday report", to a page that presumably includes this information - but if you read the report, which I did and it's quite short, it does nothing of the kind. Not even in the footnotes.

The link goes to the HHS page of research briefs (http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2012/ACA-Research/index.cfm ) - the latest, dated 20 Feb 2013 - technically the "Friday report" I suppose - is entitled:

"Affordable Care Act Expands Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits and Federal Parity Protections for 62 Million Americans"

http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/mental/rb_mental.cfm
------------

Forgive me if I'm not terribly inclined to accept at face value a blog commentary that offers no actual proof of the assertions made.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 06:54 PM

6. Not to mention they now have to disgorge premiums collected

where 80-85% (depending on the group) hasn't been spent on actual medical care.

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