It has been a very difficult and challenging enrollment period for many of my clients – for several reasons:
- The failure of Consumers Choice Health Plan has forced clients to change plans – all more expensive then their current plans
- MUSC is still not available on Blue Cross and Blue Choice.
- United Healthcare is not available in the low country on the exchange.
- Coventry/Aetna – which does include MUSC – had an average 30% increase
Many Brokers are suddenly backing away from doing individual sales. Why? Broker commissions have been cut more than in half the last few years, meaning revenue on individual plans is not enough to cover the time and expense of enrolling and servicing clients.
And with more than 7.5 million uninsured, I would have expected more demand from those previously uninsured – but we are not really seeing a big rush this year, probably because of the large rate increases again this year.
Meanwhile, even the authors of the PPACA now have the Cadillac Tax in their sites for elimination. Both Reid and Pelosi now look to repeal the tax – mostly because of the enormous objections of unions around the country – their negotiated benefits would be in danger beginning in 2018.
The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear another challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate. It’s the fourth time a provision of the ACA will be considered by the Supreme Court and follows the controversial ruling in last year’s closely watched Hobby Lobby case.
With 3 weeks left in the open enrollment season for 2016 coverage, we continue to guide as many people as we can, and can only wonder what the future brings.