July 28th, 2022 – This week the Colorado Division of Insurance released preliminary rate filings from individual health insurance market carriers for 2023. In this period of inflation, few will be surprised that health insurance premiums are going up next year.
The requested rate increase in the individual health insurance market will average 11.3% more than the 2022 insurance premiums. While this is a hefty increase, without Colorado’s reinsurance program the increase would have been a whopping 34% increase, so thank goodness for our reinsurance program. Final rates for the new year are not expected until this Fall.
In the small group market, premiums for most fully insured employer sponsored health insurance plans are expected to increase statewide by an average of 9.2%.
The two individual health insurance carriers with the lowest rates in 2022 (Friday Health and Bright Health) requested the largest increases in 2023. Anthem had the lowest rate increase of the major carriers, followed by Cigna. Kaiser requested no rate increase, though their rates were fairly high in 2022. Oscar has left Colorado, starting in 2023. In short, it looks like the playing ground will be leveled out among the carriers, so that means consumers will be able to focus more on breadth of network and plan design, more so than price.
New to Colorado in 2023 will be the Colorado Option, which requires standardized plans to be offered by both small group and individual health insurance companies. Standardized plans help consumers make “apples to apples’ comparisons between different carriers, since the benefits are identical. Customer service, networks and price will be the major differences.
Colorado Option plans must be priced 5% less than what they charged for plans in 2021. How they’ll pull that off with the inflation that caused healthcare costs to increase in 2022 remains to be seen. Colorado Option plans will be available both through the Connect for Health Colorado marketplace and carrier direct.
If the Colorado Option’s pricing doesn’t meet the 5% price reduction goal the DOI can hold public hearings and mandate lower hospital prices to reduce costs.