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State Insurance Commissioner: Pennsylvania’s Individual Health Care Insurance Market is Stabilizing

July 21, 2017

Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller released today the insurer rate filings for health care insurance policy premiums for the 2018 individual marketplace. The rate filings are subject to a 30-day public comment period and final rate increases will be announced during mid-October.

Commissioner Miller stated that the state’s individual market is stabilizing with an average rate increase of 8.8 percent for individual plans, and 6.7 percent for small group plans. But, she also stressed that the current uncertainty surrounding national health care law threatens to upset that stability.

Federal changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would significantly increase premiums include:

  • Insurers’ loss of federal cost-sharing payments would result in a higher rate increase of up to 20.3 percent
  • Non-enforcement of the individual mandate would result in a higher rate increase of up to 23.3 percent
  • If both changes are made to the current health care law, increases as high as 36.3 percent would be requested by insurers participating in Pennsylvania’s marketplace

In a recent letter to Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Programs, Commissioner Miller outlined recommendations about how to better stabilize and improve Pennsylvania’s individual health insurance market.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners also sent a letter to Senate leadership outlining actions Congress could take to stabilize the individual market, including continuing the cost saving reduction payments and providing additional funding for reinsurance and market stabilization.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has scheduled in-person town hall meetings to discuss the rate review process and obtain feedback about the requested rates.

HAP will continue to provide updates to member hospitals and health systems about Pennsylvania’s health insurance environment, as well as any changes made at the federal level to regulations impacting health plans offered under the ACA.

Contact HAP’s Paula Bussard, chief compliance officer, for more information.

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