One of the benefits of federal reform is the increased transparency brought to the insurance marketplace.
At www.healthcare.gov, one can now track insurance company filings to see how costs breakdown and how rate increase requests are supported.
In Alaska, there are some interesting findings from spending time at the site.
1. ODS Health Plan, based in Portland, covers 3,102 in the small group market. Their latest filing showed they had an MLR – medical loss ratio – of 114% due in large part to the small size of the member pool.
2. Premera has an MLR of between 80.8% – 84.3% for most products, above the threshold to be required by the ACA of 80%, and significantly better than the often mentioned 65% of national commercial carriers.
3. Brokers appear to make about a 4-5% commission on the total cost of commercial insurance.
Currently, there are only a handful of products online for review – 19 from ODS and 20 from Premera. Only plans to request rate increases of more than 10% are currently posted online. However, the information there will be interesting for Alaskans to track regardless of the absolute total.