Two Small Insurers Draft Big Rate Increases For Exchange In 2016

Jun 3, 2015

Two of the smallest insurers on New Hampshire’s health insurance exchange are drafting big rate increases for plans they’ll offer in 2016.

To be clear, it’s just a draft. But Maine Community Health Options is considering raising premiums about 20 percent over this year, and Minuteman Health is in the 40 to 50 percent range.

Both companies attribute this to the same basic cause: new Medicaid enrollees will be folded onto the federal exchange next year. Those folks are poorer and historically have of less access to healthcare, so they tend to be sicker, adding more volatility to the market.

"This may all be very relative to other carriers and we’ll just have to wait and see," says Stephanie Dunn, an insurance broker in Alton. "But it will be going into 2016. Beyond that, who knows?"

Both Minuteman and Maine Community Health Options are new companies that received federal loans to expand into New Hampshire.