Neighborhood CEO: I’m once again proud to have state officials recognize we’re working in the best interests of consumers

August 15, 2016

In the midst of what I hope has been a safe and enjoyable summer, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the latest victories for consumers who rely on our state’s health insurance marketplace.

The exchange itself is a model of success. As noted in a national survey this month, Rhode Island’s marketplace was one of only five states to receive an “A” grade for limiting premium cost increases and for expanding the number of qualified plans available.

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island is proud of its leading role in helping our state earn both of those grades. And our progress continues.

Just last week, the state’s Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC) approved Neighborhood’s proposals to significantly lower its commercial health insurance rates for the coming year, as well as to offer three new plans to consumers (details below).

OHIC’s approval of our lowered rates and of our new plans demonstrates that state officials are satisfied Neighborhood is acting in the best interests of Rhode Island consumers.

A state’s health insurance marketplace succeeds when it offers consumers a wide range of choices among easy-to-understand plan designs, all of which are available at affordable prices.  I am proud to say that, once again, Neighborhood’s offerings achieve those goals for Rhode Island’s individuals, families, and small businesses shopping for coverage.

Thanks in part to Neighborhood’s focus on preventive care and cost containment, 2017 marks the second time in four years that Neighborhood has lowered its year-to-year rates. 

We are the only Rhode Island health insurer lowering its rates for the coming year. And thanks to our sound financial management, we are also increasing the rates we pay our ever-expanding network of doctors as of this fall.

When consumers return to shop on the exchange, they will find Neighborhood has decreased its rates for individual and family plans by an average of 5.9%. Neighborhood’s employer and employee plans will also drop by an average of 3.1%. (The company had requested decreases of 5.0% and 2.2%, respectively.) 

In addition to authorizing our lower rates, OHIC’s review also allows Neighborhood to introduce three new plans into its commercial offerings:

  • INNOVATION: New Bronze tier Individual/Family plan offering the lower premiums of a high-deductible plan but also includes office visits, including mental health and substance use, with only a small co-pay; no deductible required.
  • PREFERRED: New Silver tier Individual/Family plan offering a low coinsurance and includes office and specialty visits with only a copay required; no deductible.  This is the lowest-priced Silver tier plan offered by Neighborhood since HealthSource RI began.
  • QUALITY: New Silver tier Individual/Family plan offering low-cost, high-deductible coverage, providing complete access to our full network of doctors, and top-notch customer service.

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island exists to make sure everyone in our state has access to high-quality, low-cost health care. Our partnership with state leaders has set the stage to see 2017 become another year in which Rhode Island consumers have ample choices when shopping for health insurance. That is a result in which we can all take pride.

Sincerely,

Peter Marino
President & CEO, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island