Date:February 10, 2003
To:All Insurers Writing Small Employer Group Health Insurance in Wisconsin
From:Guenther Ruch, Administrator
Regulation & Enforcement Division
Subject:Publication of Small Employer Insurers' Current New Business Premium Rates

Our office recently asked all small employer insurers to complete Form OCI 26-500 and provide information concerning the new business premium rates charged to small employers. The request was made pursuant to s. 635.12, Wis. Stat., that requires every small employer insurer to annually publish the small employer insurer's current new business premium rates in the manner and according to categories required by s. Ins 8.52 (4), Wis. Adm. Code. Small employer insurers who complete Form OCI 26-500, and who return it to the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance on or before December 1, each year, will be in compliance with the requirements of s. 635.12, Wis. Stat., and need not publish the rates themselves. The commissioner intends to publish the information gathered from all small employer insurers on OCI's website and in pamphlet form, to assist small employers in comparing the rates.

After reviewing the responses received from insurers, we determined that the information was not easily comparable due to the differences in methods used by some insurers to determine group rates. Therefore, pursuant to s. 635.12, Wis. Stat., and s. Ins 8.52 (4), Wis. Adm. Code, we are asking all small employer insurers to provide us the new business premium rates for certain hypothetical groups in particular geographic locations in Wisconsin. We have revised Form OCI 26-500 to reflect this new data request. You should again identify the plan type and form number that your company markets to small employers that features a $500 annual deductible and a co-insurance rate of 80%/20% (or the nearest amount available). List the lowest available monthly new business premium rates that are in effect January 1 for both individual and family coverage for a group of 5, 25 and 45 individuals, in the ten geographic locations listed on Form OCI 26-500. Use the assumptions and hypothetical group census noted in this bulletin to calculate the group premium rates for each geographic area.

Defined network plans should provide the premium rates for a plan that is actuarially equivalent to the amounts above and list all co-payments that apply. Indicate if a particular geographic location is not within the plan's service area.

Remember to include the name of the person who completed the form OCI 26-500 and to whom future forms should be sent.

Any questions concerning this bulletin or how to complete Form OCI 26-500 may be directed to Jamie Key, Market Regulation Bureau at jamie.key@oci.state.wi.us.

Return the completed Form OCI 26-500 as soon as possible but no later than February 28, 2003, to Betsey Rewey, Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, P.O. Box 7873, Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7873. You may fax the completed form to her at (608) 266-9935, or also complete the form online and e-mail it to her at betsey.rewey@oci.state.wi.us. A Word version of the form can be found on OCI's website at oci.wi.gov, under Company - Special Reporting Forms.