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DISB Approves Rates for 2016 Health Plan Offerings on DC Health Link

Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Department negotiates lower and more competitive rates for District residents and small businesses through its rate review process.

The DC 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 2016.

As a result of DISB’s rate review process, all insurers offering plans on DC Health Link lowered their proposed rate increases – some by as much as 10 percent. The average increase in 2016 premiums across all insurers is 4.25% for individuals and 4.74% for small group plans. The most popular individual and small group plans from 2015 are increasing 4.3% and 4.1%, respectively. 

“The 2016 approved rates are a reflection of DISB’s rigorous rate review process and the willingness of insurance companies to compete for District business,” said Acting Commissioner Stephen C. Taylor. “We are very appreciative of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority for its invaluable input and assistance during this important process, and we remain committed to ensuring DC Health Link rates continue to be among the best in the country in terms of cost and value.” 

The chart below shows changes in rates from the insurance companies’ proposed filings compared to the approved rates following DISB’s rate review process.

Carrier Proposed 2016 Rate Changes
Proposed 2016 Rate Changes
Small Group
Approved 2016 Rate Changes
Approved 2016 Rate Changes
Small Group
CareFirst HMO (CareFirst BlueChoice) 6.5% 5.5% 2.0% 2.8%
CareFirst PPO (GHMSI) 14.5% 15.2% 4.6% 5.5%
Aetna HMO n/a 13.6% n/a 2.7%
Aetna PPO n/a 9.0% n/a 3.8%
United Healthcare PPO n/a 14.6% n/a 11.2%
United Healthcare HMO (Optimum Choice, Inc.) n/a 14.6% n/a 11.2%
United Healthcare HMO (United Healthcare of the Mid-Atlantic) n/a 14.6% n/a 11.2%
Kaiser Permanente HMO 8.8% 2.2% 6.6% 0.2%

As insurers enter the third year of DC Health Link, they have refined their plan offerings based on market experience – from 301 plans in 2014, 227 in 2015 and 162 for 2016. For individuals, 26 plans will be available: Kaiser (11) and CareFirst (15). In the small business market, 136 plans will be available: CareFirst (53), United (41), Kaiser (24) and Aetna (18).

Open enrollment on DC Health Link begins Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2016. For more information about the approved 2016 health insurance plan rates including the rate filings and other charts, follow this link.