A preliminary look at 2015 individual market health insurance rate filings

With 2015 open enrollment just a few months away, a picture of the 2015 health insurance landscape is beginning to emerge. Thirty three states and the District of Columbia have released premium rates for the individual market. Five states – Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, and Rhode Island -- appear to have finalized rates, while the remaining 29 have issued proposed rates.

The average rate increase across states reporting data is 7.0%, and the average 2015 monthly premium across all metal tiers (without subsidies) is around $379. While these rates are not specific to the exchanges, in many states the individual and exchange markets are essentially the same.

Though the average rate increase hovers in the single-digit range, actual changes vary widely from -23% in Arizona and Colorado to 36% in Nevada.* Regulators in most states haven't yet reviewed these proposed rate increases, as they do those variations will likely shrink.

Year two of the exchanges is expected to see an upswing in participation from several major commercial insurers. The bellwether Blue Cross Blue Shield plans have submitted increase requests across the country typically above 9%.

New healthcare CO-OPs, nonprofit insurers created under the ACA, are priced comparably to or lower than competitors in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, and Tennessee. Competitive premiums may not always equate to higher enrollment, however.

*Note: Arkansas originally reported a 50% premium increase, but the information was later removed from its website. The map has been updated to reflect the change.

Click on individual states in the map to pull up details on 2015 premium rate filings.

Average Premium Increase
<0%
0-5%
5.01%-10%
10.01%-15%
>15%
Limited information available

Data as of August 27, 2014.

State has approved all rate filings

Source: PwC Health Research Institute analysis of state insurance department rate filings and public statements
** Louisiana is only reporting bids from insurers that are requesting 10% and higher rate increases at this time
*** California is reporting a 4.2% weighted average premium rate increase
**** Arkansas reports a 2% average premium rate decrease on its health insurance marketplace, which includes the private option for Medicaid-eligible individuals. The state previously posted plan-specific rates but has taken them down.
***** Rate published by Montana which includes individual, on-exchange plans only. While 4 plans will be participating in their exchange, the average individual rate is based upon the first 3 rates received.

Methodology

PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) collected and analyzed data from public health insurance rate filings and statements from insurance commissioners. Because not all states provide enrollment data, HRI chose to report simple overall averages to enable the most direct comparisons.

The numbers in this map are based on averages across metal tiers and ages, since many states report aggregate information that is not easily broken down into these categories.

HRI has reported proposed rates and increases. Some states are only reporting partial premium information at this time, such as which insurers are intending to participate in 2015, or percentage of rate change without actual premium data. Only filings containing rate data are included in the analysis, except as otherwise noted. HRI will update its map to reflect finalized rates and more complete data as it becomes available.