Health Insurance Health Reform

Health Insurance Premiums in the Exchange

In the health insurance exchange, premiums will rise significantly.  At least according to Robert Laszewski of Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review:

One of the reasons health insurance in the exchange will cost a lot more in most states is because the new health law outlaws many of the existing plans now being offered and requires only those much richer plans to be sold.

Are people going to get more coverage for their money? Yes. Do they want more coverage if the premium costs for those plans is a lot higher? Likely yes if taxpayers are paying for most of it. If not, clearly they didn’t want to pay for it before. Come January, lots of California consumers in the small group and individual market are going to get a letter from their existing insurer telling them their current plan is no longer available and the cost of the new required plans will be a lot more.

Note that rate increases are not as high as were expected. However, plans in the exchange may only cover a limited network of providers.

…one of the largest insurers in California, Blue Shield, announced that their average rate increase would be 13% under the new law. That sure looks better than the predicted 30% increase for California exchange plans.

But wait, that Blue Shield exchange plan in LA, for example, does not include UCLA Medical Center or Cedars Sinai. In fact, Shield’s exchange network includes a total of only 24,000 physicians compared to 66,000 doctors in their full PPO network––only 36% of their usual network docs will be available.

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