Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has filed proposed 2021 rates with the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC) for small and large group customers, and for the individual market. If approved, the proposed rates will result in average premium increases of 2.0 percent for small group employers, 5.2 percent for large group employers, and 3.7 percent for individuals. Actual rate increases will vary depending on age and plan selection.
Earlier this month, due to the current reduced demand for healthcare services, BCBSRI received approval to issue a 10 percent medical premium credit for two months, or a total of $13.8 million, to its fully insured large group and small group employers, as well as individuals who purchase insurance through BCBSRI or HealthSource RI. For customers who purchase coverage directly from BCBSRI, the credit is for March and April 2020 premiums and is expected to be applied to the September 2020 premium bill. Customers who purchased their coverage through HealthSource RI will receive a refund check.
In setting its 2021 rates, BCBSRI took into account the impact COVID-19 is having on many large and small businesses, as well as the factors that typically contribute to rates such as the cost and number of healthcare services and prescription drugs used by members. BCBSRI’s proposed rates reflect the current reduced demand for healthcare services; however, we expect utilization to return to pre-pandemic levels during 2021.
BCBSRI remains committed to making high-quality affordable healthcare available to Rhode Islanders. We are focused on accelerating meaningful change in the way healthcare is delivered and reimbursed, moving to a system that emphasizes and rewards innovation and quality.
BCBSRI expects a decision on its proposed 2021 rates from the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner in late summer.