GMCB approves medical insurance rates hikes of 11.7% for Blue Cross and 18.3% for MVP

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Vermont Business Magazine The Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) issued decisions Thursday requiring Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) and MVP Health Plan, Inc to lower the premiums they desired to charge individuals and small businesses for medical insurance plans in 2023. BCBSVT asked for a 15.4% increase and got 11.7% within the small group (business) plan; MVP asked for a 23.4% increase and got 18.3%. The rise in rates for people were similar (see below). Despite the reductions, the rates are still the best approved since August 2019. 

Roughly 72,000 Vermonters were enrolled in these plans as of March 2022.

The big rate increases proposed by MVP and BCBSVT this 12 months were driven by several aspects, including rising costs for specialty pharmaceuticals and better costs paid to health care providers for delivering services, which in turn are being driven by inflationary and workforce pressures being faced by many sectors of the economy.

After an intensive review, the Board, acting inside its statutory authority, and balancing various statutory aspects, reduced BCBSVT’s and MVP’s proposed rates by the amounts reflected in the next tables: 

Small Group – Average Annual Increase Over 2022 Rates

 

 

Insurer

Rate Request (PMPM)**

Board Approved (PMPM)**

 

 

BCBSVT

15.4% ($94 PMPM)

11.7%* ($71 PMPM)

 

 

MVP

23.4% ($135 PMPM)

18.3%* ($106 PMPM)

 

 
     

 

 

Individual & Family – Average Annual Increase Over 2022 Rates

 

 

Insurer

Rate Request (PMPM)**

Board Approved (PMPM)**

 

 

BCBSVT

14.9% ($104 PMPM)

11.4%* ($79 PMPM)

 

 

MVP

24.4% ($164 PMPM)

19.3%* ($130 PMPM)

 

 

*These rate increases represent averages across different profit plans with various levels of cost sharing. For small group, the plan-level increases approved range from 9.1% to fifteen.3% for BCBSVT and 10.5% to 21.5% for MVP. For individual and family plans, the plan-level increases approved range from 8.8% to fifteen.3% for BCBSVT and 11.3% to 26.3% for MVP.

**Per member monthly (PMPM) is the dollar amount a member pays every month for a health care plan. 

 

 
   
   
   

Health Care Subsidies and Additional Resources

  • Roughly 5,500 Vermonters could still lower your expenses in 2022 on their monthly premium by signing up through Vermont Health Connect (VHC). To search out out for those who qualify for a subsidy, use the VHC Plan Comparison Tool. 
  • Vermonters can use the Plan Comparison Tool starting October 14, 2022, to check plans for 2023. Open enrollment for 2023 plans begins November 1, 2022.
  • As of August 4, 2022, it stays uncertain whether Congress will renew for 2023 the expanded premium tax credits initially made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  Information is obtainable here about ARPA and the way it impacts you and your eligibility for premium assistance.
  • For questions on your medical insurance or health care access, please contact Vermont Legal Aid’s Office of the Health Care Advocate at 1-800-917-7787.

Last 12 months’s filings reviewed by the Board were significantly impacted by the “unmerging” of the person and small group medical insurance markets for 2022, which was done to reap the benefits of the improved subsidies available to individuals under ARPA. Unmerging the markets had the effect of lowering small group premiums (BCBSVT -6.2%; MVP 0.8%) and increasing individual premiums (BCBSVT 4.7%; MVP 12.7%) in comparison with what they otherwise would have been, with the improved subsidies offsetting the increased premiums in the person market.

8.4.2022. Montpelier, VT – The Green Mountain Care Board 

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