Premium Increases from Virginia Insurance Carriers Planned for 2015

May 20, 2014

Virginia insurance carriers plan to raise premiums in 2015, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Filing proposals with Virginia's state insurance regulator, insurance companies in Virginia indicated their plans to raise premiums next year. The state is the first to publicly release insurance rate proposals for 2015. While the rate hikes are not as large as some analysts predicted, all health plans are opting for premium increases that exceed inflation.

  • Anthem HealthKeepers Inc., a plan offered by WellPoint, is raising its premiums on individual plans by an average of 8.5 percent. Close to 110,000 Virginians are covered by the plan. The company says that the increases are necessary because of the poor health of the newly insured and fees imposed by the Affordable Care Act. Some of its policyholders will see increases of just 0.5 percent, while others' premiums will rise a full 16.6 percent.
  • The Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., covering 10,000 Virginia residents, is raising its premiums 3.3 percent.
  • CareFirst Blue Choice, Inc., with 32,000 members, is increasing its rates 14.9 percent. According to CareFirst, the average age of its enrollees has risen by several years thanks to the new law.

Premiums are rising because insurers are required to charge the same premium to all customers, regardless of medical history, and they must offer a set package of benefits. According to the Obama administration, 216,000 Virginians had chosen individual plans through the online health exchange at the end of this year's enrollment period. It is not clear whether all enrollees have paid their premiums.

Source: Louise Radnofsky, "Virginia Filings Give First Look at 2015 Health Rate Increases," Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2014. 

 

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