PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Health plans are expecting 2018 premium rates to increase by 7.2% for Group Commercial plans, while growing by 21.2% for Individual Commercial Plans. For Group plans, this growth is 0.3 percentage points higher than their expectations for last year. For Individual plans, growth expectations are lower by 1.1 percentage points. Individual members include all who purchase insurance individually, including those not served on exchanges. Medicare and Medicaid membership is excluded from these trends.
Anticipated premium rate increases after the effect of buy-downs for Group and Individual plans is 5.6% and 18.2%, respectively. A buy-down is a change in a product’s benefit design to achieve a lower premium.
For plans participating in this survey, we infer that overall medical trends are projected to increase by 5.0% for Group plans and 12.1% for Individual plans. This is based on their anticipated MLR decline for Groups of 0.5 percentage points and a decrease of 4.3 percentage points for Individual plans. We estimate an increase in consumer cost sharing to be 9.7% for Group plans and 26.0% for Individuals.
There were 53 respondents to our survey. They serve 25.4 million people in insured commercial products, or 17.5% of the total. This is Sherlock Company’s twenty-third annual survey of premium pricing trends.
Additional information concerning the survey results, including analyses similar to the above for many regions, is available through our newsletter PULSE.
Sherlock Company (www.sherlockco.com), based in North Wales, Pennsylvania, provides informed solutions for health plan financial management. Since its founding in 1987, Sherlock Company has been known for its impartiality and technical competence in service to its clients.