PROVIDENCE, RI — RI Attorney General Peter Neronha is contesting proposed 2022 health insurance rate increases with the Office of Health Insurance Commissioner, arguing there’s no actuarial basis, rates increased significantly last year, and aren’t affordable.
OHIC is expected to issue a decision on the rate increase request at the end of August.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has requested a 3.1 percent increase in the individual market and Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island (NHPRI) has requested an 8.5 percent increase to plan rates.
Also, insurers in both the small and large group markets – including BCBSRI, NHPRI, United Healthcare, Tufts Health Plan, and Cigna – filed for rate increases ranging from 2.9 percent to 17.5 percent in the small group market and 5.3 percent to 14 percent in the large group market.
In its objection, the Office raised concerns about affordability for Rhode Islanders who must purchase insurance through the individual market should the requested rate increases by BCBSRI and NHPRI be approved. The request for rate increases on the individual market are being made during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and come after receiving substantial rate increases just last year. The Office further highlighted concerns of affordability among minority communities already suffering from economic and health inequities.
The Attorney General has submitted actuarial reports to OHIC concluding that, even before the affordability of an increase is factored in, there is not an actuarial basis for an increase on the individual market of more than 2.3% for BCBSRI and 5.3% for NHPRI. Increases on the individual market have been approved for BCBSRI in 12 out of the last 14 years.
The Office also highlighted concerns about justification for and affordability of requested rate increases for small and large group plans after health insurers receiving substantial rate increases just last year – the costs of which are ultimately borne by employers and employees.
AG Objections to the rate increases and actuarial reports:
Objection to BCBSRI’s rate increase request and actuarial report
Objection to NHPRI’s rate increase request and actuarial report
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