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What you need to know for 08/20/2017

MVP, CDPHP to hike rates

MVP, CDPHP to hike rates

Health plan premiums under one local insurer could jump as much as 26 percent next year.

Health plan premiums under one local insurer could jump as much as 26 percent next year.

Premiums are showing sharp increases across the country. Some analysts credit this to the sheer number of sick people who bought plans under the Affordable Care Act. In the Capital Region, local insurers say several things have affected premiums, such as escalating medical and pharmacy costs, an aging population and added taxes and fees under the Affordable Care Act.

MVP Health Care of Schenectady is proposing a 17 percent average increase on its premiums next year in New York. Proposed rates range from a decrease for some members to a 26 percent increase for others.

“Our first priority is to provide quality health coverage to the members who depend on us for the care they need,” said interim MVP CFO Karla Austen in a statement. “In calculating premiums, we consider both price and availability of quality medical services in our markets throughout New York state.”

The proposed rate changes are based on an aging population, increased medical and pharmacy expenses and fees under the ACA, and the fact that MVP has had to absorb sharp cuts in federal reimbursement for high-cost patients, the insurer said.

CDPHP of Albany has filed proposed rate increases for 2015 as well, and is waiting on approval from the state Department of Financial Services. If approved, small group plans will see premiums increase an average of 14.5 percent and individual plans will see premiums increase an average of 9.5 percent.

Company spokeswoman Ali Skinner credited the rate increases to an increase in medical and pharmacy trends, new taxes, fees and administrative costs associated with the implementation of the ACA and increased use of medical technology and specialty pharmaceuticals, like the drug Sovaldi to treat Hepatitis C.

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