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Arkansas: QCA/QualChoice rate hikes get whittled down a bit

This is a minor update, but with all the bad rate hike news this year, I'll take any good news I can get. A couple of weeks ago, the Arkansas Insurance Dept. approved rate hikes for the 4 carriers participating in the ACA exchange next year, including significant reductions for all of them:

Now it looks like the final rate increases have been chopped down still more:

In mid-August, all of the carriers that offer plans in the Arkansas exchange proposed new rate increases for 2017, all of which were lower than their initially filed rates. Rate increases were then reduced even further for QualChoice and QCA:

  • Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield (USAble Mutual): initially proposed a 14.7 percent increase, later reduced to 9.7 percent (the carrier strongly disagreed with state regulators’ decision to disapprove the 14.7 percent rate increase and require the carrier to refile at 9.7 percent, but went along with the request in order to prevent a market exit).
  • Centene/Ambetter (formerly Celtic): initially proposed an 8.52 percent increase, later reduced to 4 percent
  • QualChoice: initially proposed a 23.68 percent increase, later reduced to 13.5 percent, and then further reduced to 11.1 percent.
  • QCA Health Plan: initially proposed a 23.8 percent increase, later reduced to 13.6 percent, and then further reduced to 11.3 percent.

This knocks the statewide average down from 9.4% to 9.1%: