Proposed Rate Increases

There have been a lot of headlines lately about potential carrier rate increases.  This can be influenced by a lot of factors.  Most notably, health insurance carriers are gaining better data on plan usage by members.  A few articles on the topic are posted here:

As Politico Pulse explains it:

2016 RATE HIKES TRENDING IN THE DOUBLE DIGITS - Health plans across the country are seeking double-digit rate hikes for products they want to sell on the Obamacare exchanges in 2016. Insurers blame the rising rates on spiraling drug costs, better data on how healthy or sick customers are and the phasing-out of programs designed to protect carriers from financial risk. On Monday, the Obama administration posted data on most plans seeking rate hikes of at least 10 percent. Some of the biggest increases are being proposed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, which are the dominant players in many states. For example, the Blue plan in Illinois wants to boost premiums for individual plans sold on that exchange by an average of 23.4 percent.
- But insurance experts warn that the data is incomplete and preliminary and that the final rates may bear little relation to what's being proposed. Some states with their own exchanges weren't included, most notably New York and California. "We have to take it all with a grain of salt," said Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at consulting firm Avalere Health. "It's easy to panic when you see really high rate increases."

As always, it's helpful to consult your agent during open enrollment or qualifying events and re-evaluate your plan options, budget, and anticipated medical claims.