Pennsylvania insurers buck trend for giant rate hikes with single-digit bump request
Insurers in Pennsylvania are requesting an average rate increase of 8.8% for individual plans and 6.6% for small group plans in 2018, bucking a national trend of double-digit increases on average. Insurers in Connecticut and Virginia have asked for rate increases exceeding 50% in some cases.
Pennsylvania’s relatively small rate increase requests could jump if the Trump administration repeals the individual insurance mandate or fails to fund cost-sharing reduction subsidies, state Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said last week. That’s the same warning that several other state insurance regulators and marketplace insurers have issued for months.
The five insurers that sold plans in Pennsylvania’s individual market this year are all slated to return next year. Together, Capital Blue Cross, Geisinger Health Plan, Highmark Health Plan, Independence Blue Cross and UPMC Health Plan insure about 506,000 people in the state’s individual market. The rate requests are not final.
Pennsylvania insurance regulators said the insurers would seek a 23.3% average rate increase statewide if the individual mandate is repealed, and a 20.3% rate increase if cost-sharing reductions are not paid to insurers. Without the mandate or cost-sharing subsidies, insurers estimated they would ask for rate increases of 36.3% on average.