CO DOI approves 2017 health insurance plans

CO DOI approves 2017 health insurance plans
Average individual market rate hike 20.4 percent

DENVER—This morning, the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), approved individual and small group health insurance plans for 2017, with the average individual market rate hike at 20.4 percent.

Advancing Colorado Executive Director Jonathan Lockwood released the following statement:

“Whether its Obamacare, or ColoradoCare, what we are seeing is the political class consistently clawing to give the government the power to kill by restricting choice and reducing options in health care. In order to address these increased premiums we must address cost-drivers, not simply myopically focus on the final point-of-sale ‘costs,’ which are shrouded in subsidies, manipulations and spin. Our health care system is a disaster and today’s news is more proof, as if we needed any, that Obamacare and ColoradoCare are huge deceptions, and cost us not only too much money, but could cost us our lives.”

In Colorado, 7.7 percent, or 450,000 Coloradans have health insurance from the individual market, or non-employer plans, while at least 51 percent of Coloradans are covered through their employers. DOI reviews health insurance plan premiums to “make sure they are neither too high nor too low,” and to make sure that the plans comply with Obamacare, but it does not have the regulatory authority to set the insurance premiums.

The DOI will host a public forum on Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 3 PM to 5 PM to discuss the plans and premiums for 2017.

Representatives from the insurance companies will be in attendance. The forum will be held at:

Division of Insurance

1560 Broadway
Room 110D (first floor of the building)

Denver, CO 80202

2017 – Approved Plans

DOI approved 277 plans for the individual market and 667 plans for the small group market.

Premium decreases for tax credit recipients

Colorado consumers who receive tax credits for their insurance may see their premiums decrease. A person who currently receives a tax credit for their 2016 insurance, and who will enroll in the same plan for 2017, will see an average decrease of 11 percent for their subsidized premium, despite actual premium increases for plans. If those consumers shop for a lower cost plan, they can reduce their subsidized premium even more, up to 29 percent on average.

Premium increases in the individual and small group market

On average in Colorado, premiums for individual plans (not from an employer) will be increasing by 20.4 percent. An individual’s age and residential location will impact their respective premium, making it higher or lower from the average.

In the small group market (health plans for small employers), increases are more moderate, averaging 2.1 percent.

Carriers leaving / entering the market

As noted when the DOI shared preliminary information in June, there are fewer carriers offering fewer plans on the individual market for the coming year. UnitedHealthcare and Humana Insurance are not offering individual plans, while Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is not offering its PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) individual plans, and Rocky Mountain Health Plans is pulling back all of its individual plans aside from offerings in Mesa County. All told, this impacts 92,000 people.

New for 2017 will be Bright Health Plans, which will sell individual plans. Here is how the plans break across the individual and small group markets, both on and off-exchange.

Individual Market (plans not from an employer)

  • 277 plans available (413 in 2016): 132 on-exchange; 145 off-exchange
  • 11 insurance carriers total, including 7 selling on-exchange plans (in 2016: 15 carriers total, with 10 selling on-exchange plans)

Small Group Market (plans for small employers)

  • 667 plans available (660 in 2016) – 141 on-exchange; 526 off-exchange
  • 13 insurance carriers total including 5 selling on-exchange plans (in 2016: 13 carriers total, with 5 selling on-exchange plans)