Trends in Premiums in the Small Group and Individual Insurance Markets, 2008-2011. Analysis Methods


We conducted descriptive analyses to address the study research questions. The paper presents national and state-wide results. We examine four-year trends for dependent variables, and analyze variations in dependent variables by selected independent variables. Dependent variables are:

  1. Premium increases
  2. Percent of rate increases approved by state regulators
  3. Percent of premium rate increases modified by state regulators

We present findings separately for the individual insurance and small group markets. Key covariates are:

  1. State regulatory authority
    1. Prior approval
    2. File and use
    3. HMO review authority only
    4. Rate review authority
    5. No requirement for filing
  2. Product type (HMO, PPO/HDHP, indemnity)
  3. Carrier size (top three carrier in the state and market, other)
  4. Market concentration in the individual and small group markets
    1. High – Largest three carriers in state have 80 or more percent of the market
    2. Medium – Largest three carriers in state have 50-79 percent of the market
    3. Low – Largest three carriers in state have less than 50 percent of the market

For state-level estimates, reportability criteria were applied based on the proportion of total state membermonths represented by the filings in each year. We required a minimum proportion of 50 percent to report results. The addition of exclusion scenario #2a added two additional state-years (Nebraska 2009, individual market; Hawaii 2011, small group market). The primary reason for excluding only two additional state-years is that the majority were already considered non-reportable due to insufficient member-months representation. Non-reportable states are listed as N/R in Table 14. Multivariate modeling is beyond the scope of this study.

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