Weekly Update: States Moving to Federal Exchange
Obamacare has become the only game in town when it comes to individual health insurance, yet as most of us know, the rules of the game change almost everyday. As we approach the fourth open enrollment period, there are a lot of significant updates and they will now be coming fast and furious. Starting today, I will provide a compilation of the news that is relevant to Individual Health Insurance across the country.
Nevada has decided to use the Federal Exchange to enroll those desiring individual health insurance coverage in their state. The most significant recent news in this regard is that every person currently enrolled must re-enroll during the next open enrollment. Yes, that is every person who purchased a plan in the open enrollment period for this year or during the year from a special qualifying event. It appears, at this time, that the special rules and accommodations that have been a part of the Nevada exchange will continue under the new arrangement. One of the advantages of this is it appears that subsidies that may be in jeopardy in the federal exchange will not be in Nevada even though they will now be enrolling through the Federal Exchange.
Oregon like Nevada is moving from a state based exchange to the Federal Exchange for enrollments in 2015. It will however, like Nevada, keep its state exchange status and thus be fully able to have people in their state receive subsidies.
Maryland is replacing their health insurance exchange IT platform with the one developed and successfully implemented in Connecticut. Over 332,500 new people have now gotten on the Medicaid plan through the exchange. Less than 80,000 have gotten individual health coverage.
Florida is indicating that their premiums should increase approx 13% on average. In other states it will also be very significantly. The good news is many new carriers are entering the Marketplace and should bring renewed competitiveness to consumers. They will have to aggressively shop with the help of an agent that can sell multiple products with all of the competitive carriers to find the best deal. Most people who do this will be able to lower their costs next year is our belief.