This study builds upon the research and methods of the 2012 Trends study report prepared for DHHS. Based on our experience with the data quality of maintained paper filings among many states in the Trends study, we relied exclusively on data from filings and summary information available electronically from public state websites for this study. In contrast, the Trends study report utilized filings that were obtained through multiple methods including in-person visits to state departments of insurance (undertaken by a NORC subcontractor) and direct appeals to state insurance commissioners for data not published online. These methods were used because fewer states had public web portals with posted filings at the time of data collection, and because in-person data collection was the originally intended data collection method for all states, based on the prior experience of insurance-industry consultants.
For this report, we compiled and analyzed data on publicly available rate increase filings for the years 2011 and 2012 for comprehensive major medical insurance products from the individual and small group markets that were available from the sample of 29 states.