The Scoop: Health Insurance News – August 19, 2021 Edition

Maricopa County rejects Arizona healthcare survey measure

Arizona’s fall ballot will not include a comprehensive healthcare reform measure, the Cease Shock billing and Defend Victims Act (unless Arizona’s Supreme Courtroom reverses a Maricopa County judge’s ruling). Volunteers began collecting signatures a couple of years ago to put the initiative on Arizona’s 2020 ballot. Although the measure was initiated by citizens, it has received substantial support from a California healthcare union (the Service Staff Worldwide Union – United Healthcare Employees West or SEIU – UHW West).

Nearly 238,000 signatures were needed by July 2, 2020. Supporters of the ballot initiative submitted 385,000 signatures. (Some reports claim that 425,000 signatures have been submitted). A judge in Maricopa County, Arizona ruled last week that 150 000 of these signatures were not valid for a variety of reasons. The abstract for the ballot measure, which was distributed to residents of the state during signature collection efforts, was also deemed deceptive by Decide Pamela Gates. She noted that it did not make clear that the pre-existing condition protections in the ballot measure only applied to fully insured medical insurance plans and not to self-insured ones. This is not unique to this poll measure. Self-insured health plans are regulated more by federal than state laws, and so any changes made to them as a result of state poll measures do not apply.

The initiative is intended to safeguard medical insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions (in the event that the ACA was overturned or repealed), prevent shock stability billing, improve hospitals’ infection management requirements, as well as increase hospital staff pay. The Arizona Supreme Courtroom has until Friday, August 21 to decide whether the measure will appear on the November ballot.

New York extends COVID specific enrollment period by September 15

The COVID-related special enrollment period in New York has been extended once again and may continue until September 15. Last Saturday was the deadline for New York’s special enrollment period, which allows uninsured residents to enroll in health insurance during this pandemic. Governor. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that the project could continue until mid-September.

COVID enrollment deadlines are also ongoing in California (by August 31, Washington DC (by September 15, and Maryland (by Dec 15).

Two insurance companies are a part in Nevada’s trade. The proposed fee for trade insurers will be 7.5% higher than the common rate.

Nevada, which was at risk of having no participating insurers in the medical health insurance marketplace just a few years ago, will gain two new trade insurers by 2021. Friday Wellbeing Plans will offer protection throughout the state, while SelectHealth will cover Clark and Nye Counties.

Three of the current insurers in Nevada have proposed a total common charge increase of 7.5 percent.

New York’s individual market will see a 1.8% increase in the average premium.

New York’s private-market insurers submitted proposed rates for 2021 earlier this summer. The proposed total increase in the proposed average rate was almost 12 percent. Last week, the New York Division of Monetary Services revealed the allowed charge modifications. In most cases, they are much smaller than what the insurers originally proposed. The permitted modifications amount to an average increase of 1.8 percent in the individual market. This is the lowest share enhancement allowed by NYDFS over the last decade. In the New York small-group market insurers had proposed an average charge increase of 11.4 percent, but NYDFS only allowed a total charge increase of 4.2 percent.

Montana’s individual market will see a 1.4% increase in the average premium.

Montana has finalized its 2021 charge modifications, which include a total average enhance of 1.4 percent for the three individual market insurers in the state. The increases range from no changes for Health Care Service Company (BCBSMT), to a five percent increase for PacificSource. Matt Rosendale, Montana’s Insurance Commissioner, stated last month that he did not believe that charges would increase in 2021, despite the fact that insurers initially proposed a charge hike. Although the insurance commissioner of Montana does not have the authority rejecting charge proposals. Rosendale’s office announced this week that the two insurers had revised their charges proposals and a lower total charge increase for 2021. PacificSource, who had initially proposed the largest share increase, kept their proposed charges unchanged.

Vermont small group and individual market to see a 3.5% increase in the average premium

In May, the two health insurers who provide protection within Vermont’s combined individual and small-group marketplace proposed a total average charge increase of approximately 6.8% for 2021. Vermonters submitted comments opposing the proposed increase. The Vermont Workplace of the Health Care Advocate recommended that there be no increase in charge. Last week, the Green Mountain Care Board approved charge increases for both insurers. However, they were smaller than what the insurers proposed. The common common increase in charge will be approximately 3.5 percent, with BCBSVT gaining 4.2 percent and MVP gaining 2.7 percent.

IRS shares revenue with people who should pay for benchmark plans by 2021

The IRS released its annual update to the percentage of income that individuals are expected to pay for benchmark health insurance plans after premium subsidies have been applied. Here we explain all the details, including examples of how numbers change at different income levels and the changes in premium amounts from year to year.

In 2021, the percentage of income that people should pay towards the benchmark plan will be barely higher in all revenue levels. It will fluctuate from year to year, but 2021 is the first time it has increased. The poverty level is also increasing, and the subsidy amounts are determined by the individual’s income relative to that poverty level. The end result is that people will only be expected to pay more for the benchmark plan in the event that they also experience a rise of income from 2020 to 2021.