A state agency has released its decisions on rate hike requests from health insurance companies.
The New York State Department of Financial Services says that overall, rates in the individual market in 2021 will increase by only 1.8%, which it says is the lowest increase in that category since the agency regained the authority to approve the rates a decade ago. And DFS says that the average 4.2% rate hike for the small group plans is the second lowest ever approved by the agency during that period.
According to the department, some health insurers are reporting record profits for the first half of this year due to the postponement of elective and non-emergency services. Officials say that any excess premiums that insurers collected must be returned to policy holders under the Affordable Care Act.
Among health insurance companies based regionally or statewide, Excellus had requested a 1.5% increase in the individual market. The state reduced that to a decrease of .2%.
For the small group market, Excellus requested a 4.4% increase; that was reduced to a .9% increase.
For MVP Health Plan, the state reduced its proposed increase for the individual market from the requested 6.7% increase to a 3.8% hike.
And for MVP’s small group market plan, the state reduced the requested 4.1% increase to an increase of 1.2%.
The state agency says that the continued rise of health care costs is the main driver of premium rates and drug costs account for the largest share of medical expenses.