Rates of Change: Putting 2015 Insurance Premiums into Context

June 27, 2014

Health insurance premiums have been one of the most closely-watched features of the new health insurance marketplaces. In 2014, insurers set rates based on limited data about who would sign up for coverage. Round II of open enrollment is fast approaching, allowing little time to process the first year’s data and to prepare for tomorrow. For 2015, some analysts anticipate increases of 10 percent or less, while others forecast growth of 20 percent or more.

Wherever these numbers ultimately land, they are likely to vary from state to state, with different effects on consumers, providers, insurers and the federal budget. This briefing will focus on factors influencing insurance premiums, state and federal regulatory roles in reviewing rates, and what to expect in 2015. A distinguished panel of experts will examine these and related issues.

Jonathan Gruber, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, provided a historical context for today’s rate increases, identifying salient trends in premium setting before and after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Cori Uccello, actuary and senior health fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries, identified the dominant factors that influence the rate-setting process in private insurance and address how those factors have translated into the new online exchanges.

David Cusano, senior research fellow at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, addressed state and federal rate review programs, and examine variability in approaches to transparency and review of the rate-setting process.

Elizabeth Hall, vice president for federal affairs at WellPoint, shared a private insurer’s perspective on the challenges of providing and pricing health coverage in new markets with significant regulatory variation and limited claims data.

Ed Howard of the Alliance and Rachel Nuzum of Commonwealth co-moderated.

Contact: Sarah Dash (202)789-2300 sarahdash@allhealth.org

Follow the Briefing on Twitter: #Rates2015

The event was sponsored by the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Rachel Nuzum Slides (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Jonathan Gruber Slides (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Cori Uccello Slides (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
David Cusano Slides (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Elizabeth Hall Slides (Adobe Acrobat PDF

Event Details

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources