AIS Newsletter Reports on Lower-than-Expected Exchange Rate Proposals in Wash., Va.

The May 15 issue of Atlantic Information Services, Inc.’s (AIS) Inside Health Insurance Exchanges (HEX), takes a look at the just-announced proposed rates for coverage sold through exchanges in the Washington state and Virginia markets.

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Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 15, 2014

Rate hikes for coverage sold through exchanges are inevitable, but they could wind up being lower than anticipated, according to the preliminary filings that are beginning to trickle out from state insurance departments. The May 15 issue of Atlantic Information Services, Inc.’s (AIS) Inside Health Insurance Exchanges (HEX), takes a look at the just-announced proposed rate changes in Washington state and Virginia and finds lower-than-average rate hikes.

In Washington state, the average proposed rate change for the individual policies sold through the exchange is 8.25% — the lowest average rate increase in seven years, according to information released May 13 by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. In Virginia, proposed rate hikes range from 3.3% for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, which covers around 10,000 Virginia residents, to 14.9% for CareFirst BlueChoice, which covers around 32,000 people in the state, the Wall Street Journal reported May 13.

Given the newness of the exchange marketplace and limited information about the likely risk pool, setting rates for 2014 “was kind of a crapshoot,” says prominent health reform expert Tim Jost, a Washington and Lee University law professor who serves as a consumer advocate at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. He says some states had more price variation than others, but adds that it’s not surprising that some products were overpriced. “To stay in the game, those prices will have to come down,” he tells HEX.

On May 28, AIS is sponsoring a webinar examining the exchange climate for 2015, designed for health plan and pharmaceutical executives, human resources professionals, brokers, attorneys, consultants and actuaries. Janet Trautwein, CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), and David Tuomala, vice president, risk optimization and growth consulting in the OptumInsight unit of UnitedHealth Group, will provide a detailed analysis of what to expect — this year and next — in both the individual and small-business exchanges, based on the newly available claims data.

Visit http://aishealth.com/archive/nhex051514-04 to read the HEX article in its entirety, including commentary from industry consultant Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates. For more information on the webinar, visit http://aishealth.com/marketplace/c4r21_052814.

About Inside Health Insurance Exchanges
Inside Health Insurance Exchanges provides hard-hitting news and strategies on the details of federal, state and private health insurance exchanges, for business planners with health plans, hospitals and health systems, medical groups, ancillary providers, suppliers, pharma companies and state health policy makers. The biweekly newsletter answers questions about this cornerstone of the health reform law — who will participate, what product designs will look like, the effect on enrollment and more. Subscribers receive reliable intelligence on how to make the most of the enormous transformation in health insurance that is unfolding and how to succeed in the insurance marketplace of tomorrow. Visit http://aishealth.com/marketplace/inside-health-insurance-exchanges for more information.

About AIS
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) is a publishing and information company that has been serving the health care industry for more than 25 years. It develops highly targeted news, data and strategic information for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. AIS products include print and electronic newsletters, websites, looseleafs, books, strategic reports, databases, webinars and conferences. Learn more at http://AISHealth.com.


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