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Monday August 18th, 2014 Podcast

HaystackRadio 08-18-14

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Division of Insurance Releases Preliminary Look at 2015 Health Plans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 

Contact: Vincent Plymell, Communications Manager, Colorado Division of Insurance, 303.894.2261, vincent.plymell@state.co.us

 

Division of Insurance Releases Preliminary Look at 2015 Health Plans 

Final Approval to be Complete in Late Summer 

 

Denver – The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) released preliminary information today from

plans submitted by health insurers for Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage in 2015. Rate and

benefit information for the 2015 plan year was submitted to DOI on June 6. Since that time, DOI

staff has been conducting initial reviews to check the filings for completeness, and to ensure

that any confidential or proprietary information has been properly marked.

 

While the filings are now public on DOI’s Online Search Engine for Rate Filings, the Division

emphasizes that the information in the submissions is preliminary and has not been subject to a

thorough review or actuarial analysis. The rate review process is a key step in consumer

protection, as the Division analyzes the plans to make sure they include the benefits required by

the ACA. The review process also holds insurance companies accountable by asking them to

justify the premiums and benefit packages included in their plans.

 

Over 1,000 plans were submitted for review, including 895 medical plans and 176 dental

plans. Of the 895 medical plans, 312 are proposed to be offered through Connect for Health

Colorado, the state’s health insurance exchange, with the remainder to be sold off the

exchange. Individuals will be able to choose from 350 medical plans, while 545 are small group

plans. Although this represents an increase from last year in the number of plan filings

submitted to the Division for the upcoming year, the rise may be due in part to technical

differences in the filing process. Last year, carriers could offer a single plan that varied in

premium based on the type of network that was utilized. In 2015, this variation is no longer

allowed, so carriers were required to file a separate plan for each network type.

 

Again, the total number of 2015 plans available is preliminary and could change when final

approval is completed in late summer. All of the insurance companies that offered medical

plans in 2014 have submitted plans for review for 2015, with two new medical carriers joining

the mix.

 

“We are pleased to see such a high number of carriers and plans,” said Commissioner of

Insurance Marguerite Salazar. “Rates seem to be holding relatively steady, which means we

will continue to see a strong market in 2015 that will provide Colorado consumers with many

options for health insurance.”

 

An initial examination of the filings shows that most of the premiums fall between approximately

a 10% decrease and a 10% increase over last year. “The spread is due in part to such items as

provider networks, medical inflation, experience and different plan designs,” said Tom Abel,

head of DOI’s Rates and Forms section for life, accident and health insurance. “Still, this

information is very preliminary. My team will spend the next couple of months digging into these

filings before we have the final picture.”

 

Over the summer, DOI staff will examine each plan to make sure it is in compliance with the

requirements of the ACA and state and federal laws. DOI will review the rates to ensure they

are not excessive or inadequate. Each carrier’s past experience and future projections will be

examined to determine whether the proposed rates are justified. DOI will also verify whether

the plans meet the federally defined metal tier coverage levels: bronze (60% of medical

expenses paid by the plan), silver (70%), gold (80%) and platinum (90%). These percentages

are referred to as “actuarial value.”

 

During this review period, Colorado consumers can submit public comments on the filings,

which will be reviewed and considered by the Division. When viewing the filings online, there will

be a section for comments within each filing. Consumers would need to click on the ““Add” link

in the “Comments” column of the filing of interest, and will be prompted to enter their name, city

and state of residence, email address, and the comment.

 

DOI will complete its review in September, then notify carriers and Connect for Health Colorado

of the approved plans for 2015. Once approved, final plans will be posted on DOI’s website.

DOI will also provide summary information and charts detailing the number of approved carriers

and plans for 2015, both on and off Connect for Health Colorado.

 

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The Colorado Division of Insurance regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and

other stakeholders with insurance issues.

 

DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting

a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado.

 

 

 

 

 

 Instructions for Reviewing the 2015 Colorado Health Insurance Filings 

 

Find the 2015 health insurance rate filings at www.dora.colorado.gov/healthinsurance.

 

  • · In the “Health Insurance Quick Links” box, click on “Health Insurance Plans & Rates.” This takes you

to the “DOI’s Online Search Engine for Rate Filings” page. Click on the “Search Health Insurance

Filings” link (at the top of the page). This will take you to the “Search Health Insurance Filings” page.

Please read the “SEARCH INSTRUCTIONS” listed at the bottom of this page before clicking on the

“Click here to Search Health Insurance Filings” link, which will take you to the actual search engine.

  • · Some key tips that will help you search the filings:

o You do not have to enter information into every field. Search by a single field, such as

company name, or use multiple fields to help narrow the results.

o If you do not have all of the information for a field (i.e., you do not know the company’s

registered business name, or the full name of the product you want to look up), you can use

an asterisk to broaden your search. For example, use *United* if you are unsure of whether to

use “United Healthcare” or “UnitedHealthcare.”

o Remember to look for plans for 2015. For 2014 plans, you can find summary information in

the “DOI’s Online Search Engine for Rate Filings” page, under “Summaries and Sample

Premium Charts for 2014 Plans.”

 

Once you have located the filing of interest to you, click on the “View Filing” link. This will take you to a pdf

version of the complete rate filing. Within this document, you fill find several sections that may be of

particular interest, including the following.

  • · Filing at a Glance/General Information Sections – These initial sections of the filing provide basic

information about the company and the overall rate impact of the filing (i.e., a positive number

indicates a requested rate increase, while a negative number indicates a requested rate decrease).

  • · Rate Information/Rate Review Detail Sections – These sections provide more in-depth information

regarding the requested rate action (i.e., if the carrier is requesting an increase or decrease, the

overall percentage change that is being requested, and the maximum and minimum change a

consumer would see, should the filing is approved).

  • · Rate-Rule Schedule Summary – The section contains the tables and formulas needed to calculate

the rates on an individual basis (depending on the person’s age, where they live, etc.).

  • · Supporting Documentation Schedule Summary – This section contains the bulk of the actuarial

support for the requested rate action, including the carrier’s past experience and future projections.

Key documents include the “Actuarial Memo” and “Supporting Exhibits.”

 

During this review period, Colorado consumers can submit public comments on the filings, to be considered

by the Division. When viewing the filings online, there will be a section for comments within each filing. Clink

on the ““Add” link in the “Comments” column of the filing of interest, and you will be prompted to enter name,

city and state of residence, email address, and your comment.

 

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