2020 Insurance Rates
Rates here in La Plata County dropped by about 30% for 2020!!!! This is due largely to Governor Polis’s Reinsurance Bill. That is a 2 year bill which was responsible for a state wide rate decrease of about 18%. What is ironic is that for those clients who qualify for the income bases tax credits, they actually experienced a rate increase in 2020. That is because of the way that the tax credits are calculated. It is the system equaling out, which is actually really great.
Open Enrollment was a whirlwind in the individual market. This marks the 7th Open Enrollments which ranged from Nov 1, 2019- Jan 15, 2020. That is the annual time of year your individual health insurance plan renews, your deductible resents, rates change and plan designs change. Now that it is over, people can still purchase health insurance with certain qualified Life Change Events (LCE) which creates a 60 day window. So, if you lose your job with benefits, you can sign up for an individual plan within 60 days of loss of coverage. If you move to Colorado and lose coverage from your prior state, you can purchase a plan. If you miss that 60 window- you will need to wait until the next annual open enrollment to purchase an Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan- also called Obamacare Plan.
Open Enrollment for Obamacare
It is now Open Enrollment for Obamacare! Here in La Plata County we have good old Anthem, and actually another carrier offering plans that are more competitive than Anthem for 2020! You need to act before 12/15/19 for a 1/1/20 start date to change plans/ carriers. Open Enrollment here in Colorado ends 1/15/20 so make sure to check in with your broker to see if you are in the best plan for this coming year.
Health Care Reform
Well, we survived Open Enrollment in the Individual Market…for the most part. As everyone gets seeded into your new plans make sure you have PAID the carrier, and that you have your new ID cards. Next time you visit your doctor or pharmacy, make sure to provide them with your new ID card as well. Because Obamacare plans change annually, even if you didn’t make a change, you will receive new ID cards. It is Cigna who most individual clients went with for 2017 as they are the most competitive carrier offering individual plans here in La Plata County for 2017. Broker commissions were cut significantly with Cigna, and apparently there are some brokers not even offering Cigna because of commissions, which I find super disappointing.
Please know that with the new administration, while we are sure to see some continued changes with Health Care Reform, that you are all set for 2017. This is not an industry that turns on a dime. It takes time to redirect this ship. At this time, there has been no clear guidance on the exact direction we are headed. Please know that as long as there is a role for brokers in the future, we will have the answers and guide clients through the waters ahead.
Rocky Mountain Health
You heard it right....Rocky Mountain Health Plans is pulling out of the market (except for one plan in Mesa County), and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield will no longer be offering their PPO products starting January 1, 2017. That means if you are in one of those plans we are going to need to change you to a new plan during Open Enrollment. Wow. That is big for us here in La Plata County, because Rocky and Anthem are the two big players here. United and Humana are also pulling out, but that does not affect us here. All carriers mentioned above are still strong in the Group Market.
This could mean that if you once offered a small group plan now could be the time to start it again...or look into offering group. With an ever changing industry, we want to offer the best solutions for current market conditions for our clients....and I am curious to see what those are in 2017 for the individual under age 65 market. Please watch out for correspondence from Connect for Health and the Carriers on if this will affect you...or call your broker. We do not have final approved rates for 2017 as of yet. I expect those in September (hopefully) for Open Enrollment in November. Reform has been on heck of a ride, and the roller coaster is still in motion.