Smaller increases and proposed reductions are not disclosed there, nor is the relative market share of the insurers who are seeking big price increases. The lack of complete information is making it difficult for analysts to get a clear picture of just how much Obamacare prices are likely to go up overall for 2016.
Many insurers other than BCBS "said little useful" in explaining why they want double-digit price hikes next year, noted Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates.
Some insurers discussed, in percentage terms, what they were receiving in premiums compared to what they were paying out in benefits. Fewer still revealed actual dollar results.
"The Texas loss was huge in dollars" because of the amount of people BCBS covers, Laszewksi said.
But "in percentages, it's a fairly common loss. You will note that the huge dollar loss only drove a 20 percent increase," he said. "There are lots of 20 percent increases—and a lot more—indicating that there are lots of carriers in this boat, although few, if any, would have [731,000] covered lives in one market."
An example of that is UnitedHealthcare, which is seeking an average rate hike of 22.8 percent in Texas for individual plans sold outside of HealthCare.gov. The range of rate changes for customers would be between minus-2.3 percent to a nearly 43 percent increase.
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But the rates would affect just about 8,000 current customers.
UnitedHealthcare said that a review of its current premium rates indicates they "are not sufficient to cover the expected benefit and administrative costs," although it did not reveal the expected loss amount.
Scott and White Health Plan in Texas has asked for rates as much as 34.12 percent higher than this year. The insurer in its rate filing said that 5.3 percent of the price increase "is due to actual and expected unfavorable experience," suggesting claims exceeded premiums. A spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.
Time Insurance, a division of Assurant Health, is seeking proposed rates that would as much as 64.75 percent higher in Texas. But the company did not disclose the number of customers who might be affected.
Time Insurance's filings in Texas, and elsewhere, stand out in at least one other respect. While the proposed rate hikes are large, Time Insurance's filings say that they are for prices of new plans next year, which by definition have no current customers.
Asked about that oddity, Assurant spokeswoman Mary Hinderliter said, "We made changes to our plans and, therefore, they are considered new products. While we are filing a new product for 2016, there is a difference in the rate for our new 2016 product as compared to the rate for the product we offered in 2015. Assurant Health is meeting regulatory requirements in submitting 2016 filings as its parent company pursues a sale of the business."