More on rates and choices in the Exchanges…

Ohio Officials reported this week that the average individual premium in the state would increase from $223 per month to $420 – an 88% increase – on the “Affordable Care Act” exchanges.  14 carriers files rates for 214 different plans ranging from $282.51 – $577.40 .

Last week California announced lower premiums on average than currently in place, but it appears they did so by substantially limiting provider access.

4 carriers – Aetna, Blue Cross, Kaiser and United – have agreed to participate in the Washington DC exchange.

Vermont will only have 2 carriers, Illinois 6

 

 

It is important to remember a couple of facts about these announcements:

1)  Different states have different mandates.  In a state like NY or California, where everything under the sun is mandated already, premiums increases would be less than in a state where they required little.  States that do not provide maternity coverage, as an example, will now have to – resulting in a larger premium increase.

2)  All we are really getting at this point are premium amounts, and we don’t know what benefits are provided by these rates.  Are we comparing Granny Smith and MacIntosh apples, apples and oranges, or apples and wolverines?

3)  Remember that individuals between 133%-400 % of the Federal Poverty Level (@17k-44K) that do not have employer-sponsored coverage will get a “subsidy” under the exchange.

4)  Medical Care cost more in some areas (typically Urban) and less in others (Suburban and Rural).  As an example, premiums will be 60% higher in Los Angeles than in some rural areas of the state.