DENVER – The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) has analyzed Colorado’s health insurance companies’ request for their 2018 rates and has submitted comments to the Division of Insurance (DOI). CCHI is flagging problems for health insurance consumers in the proposed 2018 rates, especially those requested by Cigna and Anthem.
Overall, CCHI is concerned that the requested hikes for premium rates in the individual market have little data to back up their requests and little transparency for public accountability. Insurers are citing the chaos being created by Congress and the Administration as a significant factor increasing their rates.
“It is unacceptable for insurers to ask for large rate increases when they provide little data publicly to back them up,” said Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “Some insurers are trying to have it both ways in using federal uncertainty as reason to raise rates while assuming the funding for subsidies will continue. And, insurers have not justified why certain factors they cite to raise rates are so far outside what other insurers are using or the national trend.”
In addition to their skepticism about the insurers obscuring important data and justification, CCHI expresses four concerns about the insurers’ requests in their comments to the DoI:
There are variable and unexplained projections. For example, “Narratives included with rate filings do not justify the discrepancies between a 20.75% (Rocky HMO) and 5.3% (Kaiser) total pharmaceutical trend.”
There are contradictory assumptions regarding the federal uncertainty and how much that is being used as a justification for higher rates;
There are discrepancies in the predicted future losses as well as in their historical financials — within the same carriers.
There is a lack of transparency; with many redactions and without adequate information, the public cannot scrutinize the filings to keep the insurers or the DoI accountable.
CCHI notes that, “It is difficult to determine how proposed increases compare amongst carriers with such significant redactions. To ensure greater transparency and accessibility for consumers, we reiterate our request that the DOI standardize the types of information that can be deemed confidential while providing the highest level of public transparency into the rate filings as possible…. We reiterate our current and past requests for greater transparency and increased justification for information carriers wish to keep confidential.”
These rates are not yet final and are still in the review process. The Division of Insurance will likely release the finalized rates sometime in September.
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative represents 45+ Colorado organizations and individual members representing more than 500,000 Colorado consumers, advocating for affordable, accessible, quality health care for all Coloradans.