Wisconsin Releases Information on Rate Filings
Madison, WI—The Wisconsin Office of Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) has completed its initial analysis of rate filings in the individual market.
"While the exchange in Wisconsin will be run by the federal government, insurers wanting to offer coverage in the exchange had to file their rates with OCI. With our review of the exchange rate filings completed, we have attempted to compare what Wisconsin consumers are paying today to what plans will cost post 2014 under the new federal health law," stated Commissioner Nickel. "The truth is that comparisons are difficult because rates are going to vary based on age and where you live."
The chart below compares the cost increases for a $2,000 deductible that included drug coverage in the individual insurance market. We examined plans for a 21-year-old, a 40-year-old, and a 63-year-old. The rates were examined separately for Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Madison, Appleton, Wausau, Kenosha, and LaCrosse. The pre-reform plans are based on quoted rates effective July 1, 2013. Post reform plans are limited to plans from companies who have filed to participate in the federal exchange, and the averages will change if some insurers modify their service areas.
Percent Increase From Pre to Post 2014, Average Per Area
It is important to note that a number of factors will impact how much of an increase an individual consumer will pay. The best way to determine how much you will pay is to review the exchange when it goes live on October 1. It should be noted some consumers will be eligible for a taxpayer-funded subsidy, which will offset the actual premium being charged for low-income consumers.
"With that said, from our analysis, it appears premiums will increase for most consumers. And, while there is no question that some consumers will have subsidies and may not pay these higher rates," Commissioner Nickel continued, "someone will pay for the increased premiums whether it is the consumer or the federal government."
It is important to note that any increase will not impact every consumer or group in the same way. The increases vary significantly across the state with some regions seeing far higher increases and others potentially seeing lower increases. The chart only includes data for plans that have filed to participate in the exchange. Comparisons for the group market are far more difficult to compare and therefore our office did not attempt to analyze rate comparisons for this market. Factors making this difficult include limited interest in the SHOP exchange by insurers, the interest in early renewals in the private market delaying increases until next year, and the tremendous variables in employer makeup and benefit differences.
Created by the Legislature in 1871, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.