The Scoop: Health Insurance News – October 15, 2021 Edition

  • Eleven state-run exchanges prolong open enrollment durations
  • This fall, two states will be transferring to platforms run by the state.
  • DC and 8 states offer window shopping for 2021 health plans
  • The fee changes for 2021 will be modest, and some states may see an increase while others may see a decrease.
  • Insurers expand protection or join markets in more than 20 states
  • Wisconsin asks Trump Administration to increase open enrollment
  • Unsubsidized enrollment is down 45% between 2016 and 2019.
  • Medicaid expansion in Nebraska is now in effect, almost two years after the voters approved it.
  • KFF Employer Survey: Common household premiums are now above $21,000
  • The uninsured rate continues to increase for both adults and children

The Scoop is back! The open enrollment period for non-group medical insurance is just around the corner. It will begin nationwide on November 1. There’s a lot of good news this week for those who are concerned about open enrollment or individual-market coverage. This includes information on open enrollment extensions, state enrollment platforms, plan searching, and the addition of new insurers to many states’ markets.

If you have any questions about open enrollment, please take a look our 2021 Open Registration Information. It covers all aspects of OEP, which begins on November 1. This website is primarily about individual market health insurance, but you can also check out our guide to Medicare open enrollment – which starts today.

Many details are to be covered. Let’s get began!

Eleven state-run exchanges prolong open enrollment durations for 2021 protection

Although open enrollment is still a few weeks away, more than two thirds of all state-run exchanges are already extending the open enrollment period during which people can enroll for 2021 health coverage. Some of these extensions are permanent, while others only apply to the next open enrollment period:

  • Minnesota: 1 November to 22 December 2020
  • Colorado: November 1, 2021 to January 15, 2021
  • Nevada: From November 1, 2020 to January 15, 2021
  • Pennsylvania: From November 1, 2020 to January 15, 2021
  • Washington: From November 1, 2020 to January 15, 2021
  • Massachusetts: From November 1, 2020 to January 23, 2021
  • Rhode Island: From November 1, 2020 to January 23, 2021
  • California: From November 1, 2018 to January 31, 2020
  • District of Columbia : 1 November to 31 January 2021
  • New Jersey: From November 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021
  • New York: From November 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021

Connecticut, Idaho Maryland and Vermont are the opposite state exchanges. They can choose to use the normal November 1 – December 15 window, or issue an extension. Although they have all set open enrollment to end on December 15, we could see more extensions as the year progresses.

This fall, two states will be transferring to platforms run by the state.

The federally-run HealthCare.gov website is used by most states in the U.S. for individual and family health insurance enrollment. There are 13 state-run exchanges as of this year, and another two have joined for the next open enrollment period and future plan years.

Residents of Pennsylvania will be able to sign up for protection using Pennie, while residents of New Jersey will use GetCoveredNJ. Residents in both states previously used HealthCare.gov.

DC and 8 states offer window shopping for 2021 health plans

By the end of October, states using HealthCare.gov or state-run exchanges can begin window buying for protection in 2021. Some state-run exchange websites allow you to search for plans. Californians, DC, Idahos, Marylands, Minnesotas, Nevadas, New Jerseys, New Yorks, and Vermont residents can see the plans and prices for 2021. In California, current enrollees can renew their coverage without waiting for open enrollment to begin.

Modifications to fees for 2021 are modest: Some states will see an increase, while others will see a decrease.

We’ve been tracking proposed premiums in the individual market for medical insurance across the country over the last few months. In many states, the speed evaluation course of was finalized. Charles Gaba, as he does each year, monitors the proposed and authorized fee modifications on an at-a glance spreadsheet. The average authorised rate change is currently just under half a percent. Although it is not a complete picture, this indicates a fourth year of fairly steady costs within the individual market. Prices in many areas of the country will be similar in 2021 as they were in 2018.

We have a detailed breakdown of the authorized fee modifications in a number of states for 2021. This includes some states where general charges are increasing. Other states have seen their general average charges literally decrease. See Colorado, Delaware Hawaii, Iowa Maine, Maryland and Washington.

Pennsylvania and New Hampshire will be joining a dozen other states that have reinsurance programs in 2021. The new packages are expected to reduce the average premiums for each state.

In about half of the states, insurers are a part or expand protection zones.

New insurers will be joining the exchanges in many states, while existing insurers will expand their coverage areas. New insurers are popping up in a number of states including Arkansas, California Colorado, Florida Illinois Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Maryland Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Nevada New Mexico North Carolina Oklahoma Oregon Tennessee Texas Utah Virginia Washington and Wyoming. Existing insurers are expanding their coverage areas in many states, giving residents more options.

In a few states, the present insurers won’t be providing plans in the market after 2020. New Mexico Well being Connections is closing at the end of 2020. Virginia Premier is also leaving the individual market. Highmark Selection Firm will leave the Pennsylvania market. (However, other Highmark affiliates will remain, and Highmark Selection Firm has very low enrollment.

In general, however, the trend is in favor of increasing insurer participation and expanding protection areas. It is the same development that we saw in 2019 and 2020. It’s also a reversal from the trend we saw in 2017 and 2018 when insurers fled the exchanges and individual market.

Wisconsin asks Trump Administration to increase open enrollment

Last month, a number of Wisconsin stakeholders, together with the Insurance coverage Commissioner, the Division of Well being Providers and quite a lot of medical health insurance corporations, sent a letter to President Trump, asking that the open enrollment period be extended by the end of January as an alternative of December 15.

Wisconsin uses the federally-run market (HealthCare.gov), and so it doesn’t have a choice to extend open enrollment, as some state-based exchanges did. In the letter, the state explains how an extended open enrollment period would allow it to help those affected by the pandemic and who wish to select a market health plan for 2021.

A longer extension would also give them more time to carefully consider their options, as many of them are not used to buying their own health insurance. The letter ends by stating that, in addition to these practical benefits, “an extension will signify that the federal government understands the plight and welfare of newly uninsured people and is willing to do everything it can to protect our health system and economic system.”

Medicaid expansion in Nebraska is now in effect, almost two years after the voters approved it.

Nebraska voters approved a Medicaid expansion poll measure in November 2018. Medicaid expansion in Nebraska took effect this month after a nearly two-year implementation process. Nebraskans were able to enroll in the expanded Medicaid program in August. By October 1, nearly 11,000 people had done so. The program will be available to all eligible residents.

Nebraska is now the only state that has not accepted federal funding for Medicaid expansion. Only 14 other states have not done so, but two (Oklahoma, Missouri) are expected to do so by mid-2021, in accordance with poll measures approved by voters last summer.

CMS report: Non-subsidized individual market enrollment decreased 45% between 2016 and 2019.

The Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Services published a new enrollment trends report last week. Information was updated to include the 2019 plan year. The CMS totals are calculated based on risk adjustment data, but they do not include enrollments for Massachusetts and Vermont because both states have combined individual and small group markets.

Enrollment within the medical health insurance marketplaces/exchanges has remained pretty regular over the previous few years, due primarily to the premium subsidies that hold protection inexpensive for many change enrollees. Enrollment has dropped sharply for those who do not receive premium subsidies. This includes everyone who enrolls outside the exchange, as well as about 15% of on-exchange participants. In 48 states, including Washington, DC, the total unsubsidized enrollment of ACA-compliant individual market plans dropped from 6.3 millions in 2016 to 3.4 million in 2019.

KFF Employer Survey: Common household premiums are now above $21,000

Last week, the Kaiser Household Basis published its annual survey on employer-sponsored medical health insurance. It contains, as usual, a wealth information about the current state of employer sponsored medical health insurance. There are many interesting facts to know.

  • Self-insured health plans are used by 67 percent of employees with employer-sponsored insurance. This is an increase from 61 percent last year (state health insurance regulations do not apply to self-insured well being plans as they are instead regulated at the federal level).
  • The average cost of household health insurance provided by employers has risen to $21,342 this year, from $20,576 last yr.

Uninsured fees continue to increase, but are rising particularly quickly amongst young people.

The U.S. Census Bureau published its annual health insurance report last month. It contains information about the protection of well-being in 2019. Around 8 percent of the population had no health insurance at all in 2019, and approximately 9.2 percent had no coverage when they were surveyed. This is an increase from 8.9 percent in 2018, but it also continues a gradual upward trend in the uninsured rate since the Trump administration assumed office: It was 8.7 percent in 2017 and 8.6 percent in 2016. This is a rise from 8.9 % in 2018, but it’s also a continuation of a mild upward development since the Trump administration took office: It was 8.7 % in 2017 and eight.6 % in 2016.

Georgetown College’s Health Coverage Institute published a sobering study last week. It stated that the uninsured rate amongst children in the U.S. increased more in 2019 than in any other year in the past decade. In 2016, only 4.7 percent of children in the U.S. were uninsured. This was an historic low. By 2019, the percentage had risen to 5.7%.


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