The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking received proposed health insurance plan rates to sell on the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace, DC Health Link, for plan year 2015.
Four major insurance companies – Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare – have proposed rates for individuals, families and small businesses.
- UnitedHealthcare proposed rate decreases of eight percent for all of their 2015 plans;
- Aetna and Kaiser Permanente proposed a mix of rate increases and decreases resulting in a slight overall net decrease for Aetna and a slight overall net increase for Kaiser; and
- CareFirst proposed rate increases for all plans. Most of the individual plans and all small business or “SHOP” plans reflect increases greater than 10 percent.
The department will review the rates and may make adjustments to what was filed. Insurers can also file revised rates. Last year, three of the four insurance companies (Aetna, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare) lowered rates after their initial rate filing. When final, the rates will be posted on the department’s website at disb.dc.gov.
Based on the 2014 market experience, some insurers modified or discontinued plan offerings. Forty-two new plans are proposed for 2015; all in the SHOP market with the exception of one individual plan. UnitedHealthcare and Aetna also eliminated some plans that had little or no enrollment in 2014, resulting in a total of 227 proposed plans.
The links below include tables of proposed rates for individual and small business plans to be offered on DC Health Link in 2015. The tables and more information can also be found at this link or at disb.dc.gov/2015rates. The tables show low, high and average premiums by company, product type and metal level for ages 27, 40 and 55.
Since some plans offered in 2014 are no longer available and new plans have been added, this chart shows the average rate changes for the 185 plans still available in 2015.
“The insurers proposed various modifications in plans and rates for 2015 which demonstrates that they are committed to competing for District insurance business,” said Acting Commissioner Chester A. McPherson. “This healthy market activity benefits those shopping for health insurance in the District, both in terms of choice and cost.”
“I am pleased to see new products and real price competition,” said Mila Kofman, J.D., Executive Director of the Health Benefit Exchange Authority. “I would like to see insurers compete more aggressively by further lowering proposed rates similar to what they did last year.”
The Affordable Care Act, the federal health-care law, requires all insurance plans to cover a set of essential health benefits including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health and substance use treatment. Insurers are no longer allowed to reject people with pre-existing conditions or charge them more for coverage. Preventive tests for cancer, diabetes, and other conditions must be covered without cost-sharing. Many people with low and moderate incomes will qualify for help paying their premiums through federal tax credits available to those who shop on DC Health Link. Some small businesses will also be eligible for tax credits that will reduce their cost of coverage for themselves and their employees.