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DISB Approves Rates for 2017 Health Plan Offerings on DC Health Link

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Department completes rates negotiations for District residents and small businesses through its rate review process

Washington, D.C. – The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) approved health insurance plan rates for the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace, DC Health Link, for plan year 2017.

Insurers filed initial rates with the Department in May. Since then, DISB has engaged in its rate review process resulting in three out of the four insurers revising their rates down from their initial filings.

“For the last several months, DISB has engaged in a rigorous rate review process to ensure District residents and small businesses are paying fair prices for the benefits offered by District health insurance companies,” said Commissioner Stephen C. Taylor. “The approved 2017 health plan rates are a reflection of that process to ensure the District’s rates remain among the best in the country in terms of cost and value.”

The same four major insurance companies as last year – Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare – will have plans on DC Health Link for individuals, families and small businesses for the 2017 plan year. Overall 171 plans were filed, up from 162 last year. The small group plans increased from 136 to 151, and individual plans decreased from 26 to 20.

The average increase in 2017 premiums across all insurers is 7.27% for individuals and 0.36% for small group plans. However, some CareFirst HMO consumers will see larger increases in premiums for next year as a result of pricing changes, higher medical costs and the elimination of low-premium health savings account insurance plans. The chart below shows changes in rates from the insurance companies’ original filings compared to the approved rates following DISB’s rate review process.

Consumers are encouraged to review DISB’s Consumer Guide: Understanding Your 2017 Health Plan Rate for more information on premiums for each insurer and type of plan. The Consumer Guide also provides information on some of the factors that impacted the development of the 2017 health insurance plan rates.

DC Health Link open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2017. DISB expresses appreciation to the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority for its input during the 2017 rate review process.

For more information about the approved 2017 health insurance plan rates including the rate filings and sample rates, follow this link or visit disb.dc.gov/2017rates.

  Originally Filed Rate Changes Compared to 2016 Approved Rate Changes
Carrier Individual Small Group Individual Small Group
CareFirst HMO (CareFirst BlueChoice) 13.30% 4.40% 22.80% 3.30%
CareFirst PPO (GHMSI) 0.00% 0.00% 1.80% -2.20%
Aetna HMO N/A 11.00% N/A 9.10%
Aetna PPO N/A 5.40% N/A 3.10%
United Healthcare PPO N/A 2.20% N/A -1.80%
United Healthcare HMO (Optimum Choice, Inc.) N/A 2.20% N/A -1.80%
United Healthcare HMO (United Healthcare of the Mid-Atlantic) N/A 11.40% N/A 7.00%
Kaiser Permanente HMO 12.00% 2.00% 12.00% 2.00%