Have Your Say About Health Insurance Rates

Jun 12, 2014

Health insurers have filed their requests for rate increases (or, in one case, decreases!) for the coming year (effective January 2015). The Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner reviews those requests to make sure they're fair, and then issues a ruling, probably by mid-July. Before then, you have an opportunity to weigh in.

Here are the details on those opportunities, plus OHIC's summary of what insurers have requested.

  • June 17: Public comment will be taken on proposed individual, small and large group employer rates. Comments taken in order of sign up; or submit written comments by June 24. Here's the meeting agenda, with time, date, and place.
  • June 19 & 20: Public comment will be taken on proposed rates for Blue Cross "direct pay" products. Meeting agenda here with time, date, and place.
  • Here's a summary of the rate filings (plus a handy, all-in-one chart for reference) for all four carriers in Rhode Island (United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Tufts, and Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island). Note that Neighborhood is the only insurer to propose lower base rates for this year. United is asking for some of the largest rate increases of any insurer.

Insurers base their requests on a number of factors, including how much their members cost them the previous year and how much they think they'll cost over the coming year. It'll be the Commissioner's job to decide - with public input - whether those requests are reasonable. That includes a look at the quality of the health plans being offered (including, for example, the quality of those plans' networks of doctors and hospitals and other providers).