2015 OEP: Emerging trends in the individual exchanges

Source: McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform, Intelligence Brief, September 2014

From the abstract:
The 2015 open enrollment period (OEP) begins in about seven weeks. To develop a preliminary understanding of how it is likely to differ from last year’s, we analyzed all available data from the state exchanges as of September 15, 2014. We began by collecting the carrier participation data released by 40 states and the District of Columbia; collectively, these localities contain nearly 80 percent of the population eligible for qualified health plans (QHP) in the United States. We then examined data from the 19 localities (18 states and D.C.) that released complete rate filings, which collectively contain 44 percent of the QHP-eligible population. (To simplify the discussion in this Intelligence Brief, we refer to the first group as “41 states” and the second group as “19 states.”) For comparison with 2014 carriers and products, we used the comprehensive exchange offering database we developed during that OEP. Because detailed information about 2015 rate filings is currently available from only 19 states, many of our analyses focused on silver plans, the products purchased most often during the 2014 OEP.

Related:
Real-time tracker of 2015 individual exchange filings

Key Study On Obamacare 2015 Premium Rates Is Out And You Won’t Believe What’s Going To Happen
Source: Rick Ungar, October 31, 2014

… So, how do we explain the McKinsey findings, which reveal some awfully good news when it comes to premium rates, as Obamacare begins its second year sign up period beginning November 15?
We explain it by simply pointing out that when your sole approach to a program is based on your preferred political point of view, the truth may sometimes disappoint—even when the truth comes in the form of some pretty good news.

Here are the bullet points of the study:
• Despite the cries of the Obamacare bashers that insurance companies would leave the exchanges in droves once they discovered how much money they are losing, it turns out that competition and choice are increasing as we head into 2015.

According to the McKinsey study, “In the 41 states releasing exchange participation carrier data, the number of health insurers increased by 26 percent between 2014 and 2015. In the 19 states with complete fillings, the number of products grew 66 percent, with most in the silver tier.”
• While 65 percent of existing policies will see an increase in premium costs for 2015, the medium increase will be just 4 percent. ….