A couple months ago, I wrote about the Colorado Division of Insurance securing a million dollars in funding from the PPACA to be used to enhance the review process that goes along with health insurance premium increases. The Division of Insurance has recently released an extensive FAQ page detailing how the review process works. The page includes data about health insurance premiums in Colorado, how they compare with the rest of the country, and specifics about how the Division of Insurance reviews rate increase proposals from carriers.
Although everyone has felt the sting of ever-increasing premiums over the last several years, Colorado is right in the middle when it comes to health insurance prices: consumers in 25 states pay more than we do for health insurance. And the DOI also notes that Colorado has a robust, competitive health insurance market, with ten carriers accounting for 72% of the market here, and a total of 392 carriers offering policies in Colorado.
The million dollars that Colorado received from the federal government will be used to hire additional analysts and actuaries to assist with the review process. They will be hired for a year, but if the funding is extended, the extra reviewers will be kept on for another year. The DOI reviews between 1,000 and 1,200 rate filings each year, and the intensive review process involves examining data from revenue, claims, expenses, projected income and losses, side-by-side comparisons with other rate filings, and detailed explanations of how the proposed rates were calculated. For any consumers who are curious about how the Colorado DOI goes about reviewing rate proposals, the FAQ page should be very useful.