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2021 Health Insurance Rate Filing Notices

Health Insurance companies in New York State have filed their requested rate increase for 2021. Employers with fewer than 100 employees (Community Rated) will be receiving notices of the requested rate. The NYS Department of Financial Services will review and recommend changes, or approval, of these increases to the NYS Legislature. The State has the ability to adjust the rates if they feel the requested rates can’t be actuarily justified.

While these notices are a good resource for early budgeting, they are not final premium rates for 2021. You should also be aware that plan design cost share changes (co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance) aren’t represented in the letters consumers are receiving. It’s possible a low increase request is associated with an increase in benefit cost share.

Fortunately, the filed rates by insurance carriers in Central, Western and Northern N.Y. present minimal increases compared to previous years. The rate increases vary based on specific plan design, but increases overall are in the +5% range. There are plans closer to +10%, but also plans with close to a 10% decrease! We haven’t had the opportunity to share a decreased health plan renewal in a very long time.

Overall, Excellus BCBS is requesting a 4.4% increase to its Community Rated plans. MVP Healthcare is requesting 4.4% for HMO plans and 6.1% for PPO/EPO style plans. These rate requests are considerably lower than increases in other parts of the State, especially downstate. The average requested increase in New York State was 11%.

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