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DISB Approves 2019 Health Plan Offering Rates

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

(WASHINGTON, DC)—The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) approves health insurance plan rates for the District’s health insurance marketplace, DC Health Link, for plan year 2019.

Insurers filed their initial rates with the Department in June. Since then, the Department engaged in its rate review process. As a result of the review, three out of the four insurers revised their rates down from their initial filings, with some double-digit decreases. The Department also held two public hearings during the rate review process, the first to allow the insurers to present their rate filings and the second to allow District residents to provide input.

“The Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking is committed to ensuring that District residents and small businesses are paying competitive prices for the plans that are offered through the District’s health insurance marketplace,” said DISB Commissioner Stephen C. Taylor. “The 2019 health plan rates have been rigorously reviewed by the Department, with input from policyholders and consumer advocates to be certain that all viewpoints were considered.”

The average increase in 2019 premiums across all health insurers is 13 percent for individuals and four percent for small group plans. Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare—the same four major insurance companies as last year—will have plans on DC Health Link. CareFirst and Kaiser Permanente plans cover individuals, families and small businesses for the 2019 plan year. Aetna and UnitedHealthcare plans are only available in the small business market. Overall, 180 plans were filed, up from 177 last year. Small group plans increased by four to 155, and individual plans decreased from 26 to 25.

“The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) advocates for the lowest possible premiums for our DC Health Link customers and we thank Commissioner Taylor for considering our recommendations and for approving rate changes that are generally lower than initially proposed by insurers,” said Mila Kofman, J.D., Executive Director of HBX. We also applaud Commissioner Taylor for hosting public hearings for District residents and small businesses to provide comments on the impact of premium increases.”

DC Health Link’s open enrollment begins November 1 and runs through January 31, 2019. The Department is grateful to health insurers, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, consumer health advocates, brokers and the public for their input during the rate review process.

The chart below shows changes in rates from the insurance companies’ original filings to the approved rates established by DISB’s rate review process. For more information about the approved 2019 health insurance plan rates, including the rate filings and sample rates, visit disb.dc.gov/2019rates.

 

 

Filed Rate Changes for 2019 (Compared to 2018)

Approved Rate Changes for 2019

Carrier

Individual

Small Group

Individual

Small Group

CareFirst HMO

9.5%

3.2%

10.4%

1.9%

(CareFirst BlueChoice)

CareFirst PPO

16.7%

5.2%

9.9%

1.7%

(GHMSI)

Aetna HMO

n/a

18.7%

n/a

3.4%

Aetna PPO

n/a

23.5%

n/a

9.5%

United Healthcare PPO

n/a

17.9%

n/a

9.8%

United Healthcare HMO

n/a

17.9%

n/a

9.8%

(Optimum Choice, Inc.)

United Healthcare HMO

n/a

17.9%

n/a

9.8%

(United Healthcare of the Mid-Atlantic)

Kaiser Permanente HMO

20.0%

0.0%

20.0%

0.0%