The two insurers planning to offer medical coverage in Indiana through the federal Affordable Care Act in 2018 have proposed widely divergent price increases.
CareSource would raise its federal insurance exchange premiums by an average of 2.2 percent, according to information released Thursday by the Indiana Department of Insurance. Individual policy premiums would increase by as much as 12.2 percent and decrease by as much as 9.1 percent from this year's prices.
Celtic Insurance Co./MHS – better known in Indiana as Ambetter – would raise its average premium by 24 percent. Changes in individual policy premiums would range from a 15.7 percent increase to a 117.7 percent jump from current prices.
The insurers' proposed average monthly premiums are similar, however – $423.88 for CareSource and $452 for Celtic/Ambetter. Celtic/Ambetter's average premium for this year by far was the lowest among the four insurers that sold policies in Indiana through the federal exchange.
The Indiana Department of Insurance said Thursday in a statement that the filed prices are not necessarily final. The state has until Sept. 27 to review the proposals and submit them to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Insurance rate proposals were due Wednesday – the same day that Anthem and MDwise announced they would withdraw from the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplace next year. Each company cited "uncertainty" about Republican congressional efforts to repeal and replace the federal health care law. Combined, the two companies insure about 77,000 of the 147,000 Hoosiers who enrolled in Affordable Care Act plans this year.
Nearly 20,000 residents of northeast Indiana, including more than 10,000 residents of Allen County, bought insurance policies this year through the federal exchange, which offers plans to people who cannot obtain affordable medical coverage through their employers.