Health premium changes varied, early stats show

Molly Armbrister

Preliminary health-insurance premiums for 2015 show mixed changes in monthly cost, according to a release Monday from the Colorado Division of Insurance.

Changes in the monthly cost for most of the premiums varies from 10 percent decreases to 10 percent increases, the release states, but more examination will have to take place before firm numbers are known.

“The spread is due in part to such items as provider networks, medical inflation, experience and different plan designs,” said Tom Abel, director of the Division of Insurance’s Rate and Forms section for life, accident and health insurance, in a statement.

“Still, this information is very preliminary,” he said. “My team will spend the next couple of months digging into these filings before we have the final picture.”

More than 1,000 plans were submitted for review, including 895 medical plans and 176 dental plans. Of the medical plans, 312 are proposed to be offered through the state’s health-insurance exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. The rest of the medical plans, including 350 plans for individuals and 545 for small groups, will be offered off the exchange.

Final approval on the plans will be given later this summer.

Division of Insurance staff will spend the summer examining each plan to make sure they are all in compliance with the Affordable Care Act and other federal and state laws. The division must also conduct rate review, in which staff will review changes in rates to determine whether or not those changes are justified.

Each carrier’s past experience and future projections will be examined to make this determination.