Health Insurance Premium Increases in the Individual Market Since the Passage of the Affordable Care Act. Results

02/22/2013

Since 2010, there has been a decline in the proportion of rate filings in which the requested increase is at or above the Affordable Care Act threshold of 10 percent. In 2010, 75 percent of rate filings requested increases of 10 percent or more, a proportion that dropped to 34 percent in 2012 (See Figure 1).[5] The sharp drop in requests for increases of 10 percent or more is most likely the result of the increased scrutiny that rate increases of 10 percent or more now receive.

Percentage of Individual Market Rate Filings with Rate Change Requests of 10 Percent or More
Source: Data from 9 states with 213 filings in 2009, 11 states with 238 filings in 2010, 15 states with 307 filings in 2011, 15 states with 283 filings in 2012, and 10 states with 77 filings in 2013. The 2013 results are incomplete for the 10 states that are included.
Percentage of Individual Market Rate Filings withRate Change Requests of 10 Percent or More

Although results for 2013 are still preliminary, the available data suggest that the slowdown in rate increases seen from 2010 to 2012 has continued into 2013. The proportion of policies with rate increases of 10 percent or more is much lower, 14 percent in 2013, than in any previous year (see Figure 1).[6] Further, the average increase for policies in 2013 in the data available to date was slightly below the level in 2012 (7.9 percent for 2013 compared to 8.1 percent in 2012), providing no indication of an acceleration in the rate of growth of 2013 premiums, although these results are based on incomplete data.

In the individual market in 2012 the average rate increase implemented in the analytic sample was 8.1 percent, 30 percent (or 3.5 percentage points) lower than the 11.6 percent average in 2010. By contrast, rate increases in the group market have been relatively stable from 2009 to 2011 (data from the 2012 MEPS-IC is not yet available).[7] These results are consistent with the hypothesis that, on net, the Affordable Care Act contributed to a decrease in the rate of premium growth in the individual market.

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