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Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking

District Announces 2021 Health Insurance Rates

Friday, October 2, 2020

Washington, DC— Today, the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) announced the 2021 approved individual and small business health insurance rates. Thanks to the Department’s review, most insurers decreased their initial rate proposals, which will save District residents over $17 million.

 “The Bowser Administration and the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking are committed to providing consumer protection and effective regulatory oversight of health insurance offerings for the residents and employers in the District,” said Department Commissioner Karima M. Woods. “This includes fair rates and non-discriminatory coverage. We performed a thorough review of 163 small group plans and 25 individual plans to ensure that they meet the District’s standards and provide non-discriminatory, accessible and affordable health insurance for our residents.”

Rates will increase overall by 0.2 percent for individual coverage and decrease by 0.5 percent for small group coverage. The Department reviewed 188 proposed health plan rates for 2021 Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and United Healthcare. The new rates were approved after the Department considered the input received from insurers, government and non-profit organizations and the testimonies provided by consumers and actuaries during the September 1 public hearing. At the hearing, actuaries presented their findings and members of the public had an opportunity to share their stories and discuss the proposed 2021 rates.

As a result of the Department’s review, and input provided at the hearing, three out of four insurers reduced their rates from their initial filings. The decreases from the initial filed rates were as much as 30 percent and, overall, the decreases as a result of the Department’s rate review will save District residents over $17 million. Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare are the same insurance companies that offered plans in 2020 that will have plans available on DC Health Link.

“The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (DCHBX) advocates for the lowest possible premiums for our DC Health Link customers and this year we advocated for premium reductions and a rejection of proposed premium increases due to the economic hardships from COVID-19,” said DCHBX Executive Director Mila Kofman, J.D. “We applaud Commissioner Woods for rejecting proposed premium increases and requiring decreases for many health plans.”

DC Health Link open enrollment for individuals and families starts November 1, 2020 and runs through January 31, 2021. Visit or call 1-855-532-5465 for help enrolling.

The Department is grateful to consumer health advocates, health insurers, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, actuaries, and the public for their input during the rate review process.

For more information about the approved 2021 health insurance plan rates, visit

2021 Individual and Small Group (SG) Health Insurance Rates

Issuer Market Initial Rate Change Request Approved Rate Change Covered Lives Impacted by 2021 Rate Changes Covered Lives Impacted by 2021 Rate Changes
Aetna Life (PPO) SG 38.0% 3.9% -34.1% 444
Aetna Health (HMO) SG 7.4% 0.0% -7.4% 235
CareFirst (PPO) IND -0.6% 1.0% 1.6% 7,444
CareFirst (PPO) SG -1.6% -5.6% -4.0% 21,680
CareFirst (HMO) IND 14.7% 0.1% -14.6% 4,320
CareFirst (HMO) SG 1.1% 0.2% -0.9% 40,567
Kaiser IND -2.0% -2.0% 0.0% 2,723
Kaiser SG 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 4,258
UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company (PPO) SG 11.4% 5.0% -6.4% 12,649
Optimum Choice, Inc. (HMO) SG 10.3% 5.0% -5.3% 583
UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic (HMO) SG 17.4% 5.0% -12.4% 801

DISB Mission

Our mission is three-fold: (1) cultivate a regulatory environment that protects consumers and attracts and retains financial services firms to the District; (2) empower and educate residents; and (3) support the development and expansion of business.


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