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Insurers File Proposed Rates for 2017 District of Columbia Health Plan Offerings

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
DISB begins its rate review process to negotiate the best rates for District of Columbia residents and small businesses.

The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) received 170 proposed health insurance plan rates for review from four major insurance companies in advance of the fourth year of open enrollment on DC Health Link, the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace.

These filings mark the beginning of DISB’s rate review process where department actuaries engage with the insurers to determine if the rates are reasonable by law and should be approved for sale in the District of Columbia. Last year, DISB successfully negotiated lower rates from all insurance companies offering plans to be sold through DC Health Link.

“DISB remains committed to ensuring the District’s health insurance rates continue to be among the best in the country in terms of cost and value,” said Commissioner Stephen C. Taylor. “During the rate review process, we will work with our insurance companies to make sure the approved rates are reasonable for the benefits provided to our residents and small businesses.”

The same four major insurance companies as last year – Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare – have proposed rates for individuals, families and small businesses for the 2017 plan year. Overall 170 plans were filed, up from 162 last year.  The small group plans increased from 136 to 152, and individual plans decreased from 26 to 18.

The proposed rates show a mix of increases and decreases from 2016. For small group plans, CareFirst filed overall rate increases of 4.4% for HMO plans and no overall aggregate change in rates for the PPO plans.* Kaiser small group rates show an overall 2% increase. Aetna filed for an overall increase of 5.4% for PPO plans and 11.0% for HMO plans. Lastly, United proposed a 2.2% increase for PPO plans and a range of increases on the HMO plans of 2.2 to 11.4% for its small group plans.

For individuals, CareFirst reduced the number of plans from 15 to seven with an overall rate impact of 0.0% for PPO plans, and proposed a 13.3% increase for HMO plans. Kaiser made no changes to its individual portfolio and proposed plans with increases averaging 12%.

To view the proposed rates and additional information, visit disb.dc.gov/2017rates. The public can comment on the proposed rates by sending an email to [email protected] by July 15. 

* Please note that DISB is providing updated information for its May 11 press release due to a correction made in a rate filing May 12.

DISB stated May 11: “For small group plans, CareFirst filed overall rate decreases of 4.4% for PPO products and no overall aggregate change in rates for the HMO plans.” Please note the corrected information: For small group plans, CareFirst filed overall rate increases of 4.4% for HMO plans and no overall aggregate change in rates for the PPO plans.

The rates information that appears on our webpage at disb.dc.gov/2017rates is unaffected by this change.

If you have any questions, call DISB’s Insurance Bureau at (202) 727-8000.