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Insurance department releases range of health insurance rates for 2018

 TOPEKA — The Kansas Insurance Department has completed the review of rate filings for individual and small group health plans in Kansas for 2018. 

The range of average rate revisions by insurance companies is from -8.8 percent to 29 percent.  The proposed changes are for health plans sold on the federal marketplace and also for plans not sold through the government website. The plans affect approximately 4 percent of the Kansas population who may purchase individual plans.

For 2018, 38 plans have been proposed for sale during open enrollment in Kansas on the federally-facilitated online marketplace. 

Currently, the federal website only displays plans with a rate revision for 2018.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Medica and Sunflower State Health Plan will offer new plans in 2018, and these plans may not display as rate revisions on 

The marketplace information given to the department shows Medica has filed plans for all 105 counties in Kansas. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has filed plans for 103 counties—all except Johnson and Wyandotte. Sunflower State Health Plan (a division of Centene) has filed plans in Johnson and Wyandotte counties (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, which operates in Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, previously announced the company will discontinue operating on the online marketplace as of Dec. 31, 2017).  

The federal government has not indicated whether consumers will be able to “window shop” for all plans on the federal website prior to November 1, 2017, the official date for 2018 open enrollment to begin. 

All rate filings are subject to analysis by the insurance department’s Health and Life Division.  The division reviews the insurance companies’ actuarial data and assumptions.  All rates are required to be final by Sept. 6, 2017.  

Open enrollment for the marketplace begins Nov. 1, 2017, and ends Dec. 15, 2017.  This is a shorter open enrollment period than in years past.