On the Public Health Insurance Marketplaces: Developments the Week of July 8th and 15th

July 23, 2013

This fourth installment of “On the State-Exchanges,” includes news on rate proposals, outreach programs, participating insurers, promotional campaigns and the HHS report on rates on the individual and group markets. The State Exchange Table continues to provide the latest information on carrier participation and plan rates as they occur

Latest Updates:

The department of Health and Human Services published a report on Thursday announcing that premium rates on the individual and group markets are nearly 20% lower than expected. Silver plans average per-month premiums in the states that have so far announced rates are as follows:

• California-$368
• Colorado-$316
• DC-$297
• New Mexico-$298
• New York-$349
• Ohio-$384
• Oregon-$280
• Rhode Island-$412
• Vermont-$440
• Virginia-$315
• Washington-$350

Read more on the HHS report here: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketCompetitionPremiums/rb_premiums.pdf

Multiple states running their own health insurance exchanges have launched television ads to help spread awareness about the new health insurance marketplaces. The ads, aired in Oregon, Kentucky, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii and Vermont, are state-specific and are non-political in nature. The states participating in the federally facilitated exchanges are set to launch ads in September.

Vermont– Plan rates on Vermont’s health insurance exchange are lower than expected, with about a 5% reduction from previous estimates. The two insurance carriers on the Vermont market, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) and MVP Health Care (MVP), will offer average individual monthly premiums of $395 and $410 respectively. For those with incomes under 133% of the federal poverty line, monthly premiums could be as low as $19.

New York– Rates on the New York health insurance exchange are expected to drop by 50% from current prices. People can purchase individual plans with monthly premiums as low as $308 before subsidies kick in. Average premiums for an individual plan can range from $170 for catastrophic coverage to $965 for platinum level plans.

The state has approved seventeen insurers to sell plans on the exchange: Aetna, Affinity Health Plan, American Progressive Life & Health Insurance Co. of New York, Capital District Physicians Health Plan, Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, Excellus, Fidelis Care, Freelancers Co-Op, Healthfirst New York, HealthNow New York, Independent Health, MetroPlus Health Plan, MVP Health Plan, North Shore LIJ, Oscar Health Insurance Co. and United Healthcare.

Florida– The national health care education organization, Enroll America, launched its program in Florida on Wednesday. Enroll America hired 25 organizers who will begin reaching out to residents to educate people on the Affordable Care Act and the enrollment process.

Rhode Island– Rhode Island is launching an outreach campaign to help raise awareness about the state’s health insurance exchange. The launch will include presentations to businesses, community groups and consumers, and will air television and radio ads as part of the promotional campaign. Rhode Island granted the Florida based company, Connextions, a $24 million, 18 month contract to run the exchange. The organization will hire as many as 100 people to help run and manage the exchange.

Maine– The federal government awarded $1.4 million in grants to 19 Maine health centers. The grants will go towards hiring more staff that will help people find affordable health coverage on the state’s exchange.
California- 195 California health clinics received a total of $21.9 million to help enroll people in the state’s exchange come October. The clinics serve over three million Californians and grant money will go, in part, towards hiring an additional 400 workers.

Missouri– Three of the nation’s largest insurers will not participate in Missouri’s federally run exchange. Cigna, UnitedHealthCare and Assurant Health have all decided not to participate in the state’s exchange, while Anthem Blue Cross, which holds a 26% share in the Missouri individual insurance marketplace, will provide care when the exchange opens in October.

More state exchange plans and pricing information: State Exchange Table

3 Responses to “On the Public Health Insurance Marketplaces: Developments the Week of July 8th and 15th”

  1. Great post. Very informative. We regularly cover the state exchanges as well, if you’re interested: http://bit.ly/1bwKjHZ. Feel free to share your thoughts.

  2. Thanks so much for reaching out, Helen. It’s great to know that Becker’s Hospital Review also covers exchanges. We also tweet industry news frequently and would love to connect on Twitter through @ExtendHealth and @BryceWatch, our managing director’s account.

    If you would like to get industry insight from a policy expert for any stories you’re working on, I can connect you with John Barkett, our director of health policy affairs. He is an expert in how companies can implement ACA and insurance industry workings and is a former HHS staffer.

    You can reach me at:
    melanie.meharchand@extendhealth.com
    T +1 650 292 8717
    C +1 415 683 9016

    Thanks!

    Melanie M Meharchand, Senior Manager, PR and Social Media

  3. Great information, thanks for sharing. It is helpful to have all the updates in one post.

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