Michigan health insurers request rate changes

June 10, 2015

None of the 17 health insurers in Michigan that are selling policies to small-business groups for open enrollment starting Nov. 1 have applied for rate increases of 10 percent or more to trigger the Obamacare-mandated insurance approval review. Those 17 health insurers filing with the state are offering a total of 695 plans that would affect 341,430 employees in the small group market.

Of course the $64,000 question is whether health insurance rates in 2016 will be higher or lower, on average, for small groups than in previous years. Most experts are suggesting that average prices nationally for small groups and probably in Michigan are expected to rise an average of 3 percent to 4 percent in 2016, lower than 6 percent this year, and 8 percent in 2014.

But the individual market in Michigan is a different story. Five health insurers have requested rate increases of more than 10 percent, which will certainly trigger the state rate review. The individual market always has been volatile, and 2016 doesn't appear to depart from that trend, especially with insurers worried how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on subsidies this summer. Shopping around is always a good idea to seek a lower price and a benefit plan that fits current needs.

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Originally posted by Jay Green of Crain’s Detroit Business on June 1, 2015.

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