Michigan Small Business Health Care Insurance Plans Will Cost 7.1% More In 2024
Michigan Small Business Health Plans Will Cost 7.1% More on Average for 2024
October 26, 2023
Michigan small businesses will pay an average of 7.1% more for their employees’ health coverage in 2024, under rate proposals approved by state regulators.
The statewide average increase affects 12 insurance companies that participate in Michigan’s small group market for employers with 50 or fewer employees.
The rate increases approved by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services range from a low of 4.5 percent for Paramount Insurance Co., which has about 100 people enrolled in small business group policies, to a high 12.1% for Alliance Health and Life Insurance. Co., a subsidiary of Detroit-based Health Alliance Plan, which sells PPO policies and has nearly 20,000 enrollees.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the state’s small group market leader with 170,000 enrollees, received regulatory approval for a 6.7 percent rate increase. Regulators approved a 5.8% rate increase for HMO subsidiary Blue Care Network, which has more than 111,000 enrollees.
Grand Rapids-based Priority Health's small group rates will increase an average of 6.7% for HMO and point-of-service plans. Prices for PPO plans sold by Priority Health Insurance Co. will increase by an average of 6.3%.
Blue Cross Blue Shield and Priority Heath control much of the West Michigan market for small employer health coverage.
When the companies submitted their rate plans to the state in May, representatives from both insurers said claims were trending upward, particularly for prescription drugs, driving up premiums. They specifically noted that the growth of expensive specialty drugs contributed to their pricing proposals.
At Blue Cross Blue Shield, pharmacy claims trended up 12% in 2022 and were 20% higher through the start of 2023, which is significantly higher than we’ve seen in the past , said Sandy Fester, vice president of Michigan affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield. Fears Grand Rapids Business at the time.
There’s always volatility in (claims) trends, but this year it’s more specific to pharmacy, Fester said in a previous report. This is something that we’re going to see continue to emerge. This is by no means something that is done all at once. They are certainly contributing to the upward trend of these new and emerging therapies that are very expensive.
State regulators approved small-group rate plans largely as insurers offered them in the spring. The only exception was the Health Alliance Plan, where a proposed increase of 12.8% was reduced to an approved 11.1%, according to a summary of rate proposals that the Department of Insurance and Financial Services presented. put online this week.
The Department of Insurance and Financial Services also approved 2024 rates for individual health policies which are on average 5.5% higher than this year’s rates. They include an average increase of 5.2% for individual Priority Health plans.
Regulators approved an average increase of 4% for individual Blue Cross Blue Shield plans and 5.4% for Blue Care Network.
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