Weekly Update: Skinny Plans & More…
Open enrollment is fast approaching, and with it, a slew of changes and updates on health insurance.
Many Large Employers to offer “skinny plans”
An article from NPR estimates that 16% of large employers will offer “skinny plans” to their employees. These are mainly large employers of lower paid workers. Most will be offered with one ACA compliant plan so that the business is in compliance and will not have to pay a penalty. Employees, because an ACA compliant plan is offered, are ineligible for subsidies. Most will take the skinny plan because it is affordable and covers them for daily expenses such as doctor visits and prescription drugs. This allows the employees to also avoid the tax penalty for not having coverage. The downside is that the coverage is very inadequate for major health conditions that may occur.
Health First Insurance, which offers fifteen plans under the ACA in Florida, has announced plans to institute a 23% rate increase in 2015. This seems to be at the higher end of premium increases but increases will still will be significant enough that most people will want to re-investigate their options during open enrollment.
Obamacare Causing Cultural Changes
While this is only anecdotal evidence, an insured today said her and her husband were getting divorced “on paper” because they would save over $400 per month on health insurance. Since our office spoke directly to the lady, it is direct evidence of change. Other instances of this nature are being reported in the news.
Size of the Market for ACA Plans
Kaiser Foundation is reporting thatthereare currently over 17 million Americans eligible for subsidies to purchase their health insurance. The total size of the market for ACA plans is in excess of 28 million. It has been reported by a study group that 10.3 million people have enrolled in ACA plans to date. Insurance carriers are saying a significant number of those included in that number never paid their premiums.
Who Pays the Penalty?
It appears that most people will not. A new study says 25 million Americans without health insurance will not be charged a penalty. If the total market is 28 million and 10 million have ACA compliant plans, then who pays the penalty? Not many for sure.
New Carriers in the ACA Marketplace
The largest health insurer in the US, United Healthcare, will be in many markets in 2015 that they were not in 2014. Assurant, who for many years was the largest provider of Individual Health Coverage in America, has also revealed that they will be on the exchange in over twenty states. This will greatly increase the marketing outreach for the ACA and will inject a lot of competition in the market. Open enrollment is fast approaching.