With the deadline for the implementation of the state health insurance exchanges fast approaching, the pressure is on for the states to solidify their plans. The “On the State Exchanges” series will keep you up to date on the exchange developments, including tentative and approved insurers, projected rates, and relevant state news.

The sixteen state run exchanges, eight state-federal partnerships, and twenty-seven federally facilitated exchanges (FFEs) are all scrambling to be open for business on October 1st, the date that open enrollment for 2014 plans begins. So far, 11 states have provided information on the carriers that will participate on their exchanges, and just three have actually announced any kind of expected premiums. This State Exchange Updates Table provides the latest information on carrier participation and plan rates that have been announced so far for each exchange. We will update the table in real time as more information is released, so bookmark the link and check back frequently for the latest news.

The Recent Announcements:

On June 7th, Vermont officials received and began reviewing the first-ever proposed rates for health insurance plans offered through Vermont Health Connect. Plan rates are expected to be approved and announced by July 8th. Thus far, Blue Shield Blue Cross of Vermont and MVP Health Care have filed rates that are comparable with current rates paid by small businesses and individuals, but their proposed plans generally include improved benefits.

Fourteen carriers submitted proposals to offer 214 plans on Ohio’s health insurance exchange with average premium rates running at $420. Ohio officials say average prices will increase 88% with the implementation of the ACA, and critics worry that the increase will cause “rate shock.”

DC’s exchange will take on seven carriers offering a total of 293 plans. Over the weekend DC announced tentative prices for its spectrum of plans. A 27-year-old resident could expect to pay between $124 and $341 a month, depending on level of plan chosen. A 40-year-old would pay anywhere between $166 and $457 a month, and a 55-year-old would face costs ranging from $295 to $813 a month. In addition, the DC exchange is one of the few places where small business owners will be required to purchase employee health insurance.

More state exchange plans and pricing information: State Exchange Updates Table

Group insurance is better, right?

Isn’t it always cheaper than buying an individual plan?

The answer is no, not always. Not in the Medicare world. Read the rest of this entry »

By Joseph Stutzman

You have no doubt received all kinds of offers in the mail for supplemental insurance. Most people associate supplemental insurance with Medicare and the need to cover what Medicare won’t but there are all forms of supplemental insurance: Read the rest of this entry »