Insurance carriers have submitted proposed rates to the Department of Insurance (DOI) for the 2019 individual and small group health insurance markets.
The individual market preliminary filings confirm two insurers will serve the Kentucky market. Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky (Anthem) has requested an average rate increase of 3.5 percent across 13 different plan offerings. Anthem has also proposed an expansion of its service area to cover an additional 17 counties over its 2018 offering—a move that will provide additional options for health coverage in those counties. CareSource has also requested an average rate increase of 19.4 percent for its 12 different plan offerings. In 2019, CareSource expects to offer plans in the same 61 counties it presently serves.
The initial filings are preliminary and subject to change. Experienced DOI health analysts and actuaries have commenced their review of the filings, and DOI expects that rates will be finalized in late August 2018. Although rate requests are generally indicative of rate increases for consumers, individual premium costs depend on a variety of factors including age, smoking habits, and geographic location. Open enrollment for the plan year 2019 begins Nov. 1, 2018.
“The initial rate increase percentages for 2019 are not as high as in previous years and some policyholders could see rate decreases,” said DOI Commissioner Nancy Atkins. “However, some individual consumers could face the prospect of increases on sometimes unaffordable rates. The federal government has begun undertaking certain regulatory reforms designed to increase state authority and flexibility in these markets and to promote the increased availability of affordable plan options. However, much work is left to be done to provide meaningful relief for Kentuckians.”
In an effort to seek relief for Kentucky consumers, DOI continues to work with the federal government to determine available relief options within the current regulatory scheme. DOI anticipates receiving notice shortly on a federal grant application to review Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan designs and to identify what people need at a price they can afford. Additionally, DOI continues to review the recent “Association Health Plan” rule put forth by the Department of Labor. DOI will work with interested parties to implement that rule and provide secure, affordable health insurance alternatives.
The preliminary 2019 rate filings are available online on the DOI website at: http://insurance.ky.gov/ratefil/default.aspx