On September 12, 2019 the Office of the Insurance Commissioner approved the plans with a record low rate. The average rate of decrease for theplans was 3.27%. We have insurance companies expanding their coverage. The Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board later approved the plans. Remember, we all get one year older every year so do not count on a full percentage decrease.
Open Enrollment is November 1st through December 15th grab an appointment today.
|Heavy Enrollment in Eastern Washington in 2019|
This is good news to all our customers in Washington State. It shows the individual market on the Health BenefitExchange is stabilizing. There have been proposals for Reinsurance and adding a state individual mandate both of would lower prices. We will see if the Legislature takes the necessary steps to further lower rates. Customers will be able to enjoy the lower rates starting January 1st, 2020.
We like to focus on the exchange plans as they provide the biggest shopping experience for consumers. They also offer the some of the best discounts. During the 2019 Enrollment, 2 out of 3 people that selected a plan qualified to receive advanced premium tax credits to lower their costs. Of the uninsured people in 209, 1 out 3 didn’t attempt to do a quote on a health exchange.
The big picture: In2019, the average monthly Premium was $168 per month for people using advanced premium tax credits. In Chelan county (where our office is located) 72% qualified to receive tax credits to lower their monthly cost of healthcare. One of the lowest average costs for healthcare in the area was Okanogan County with the average premium after tax credits of only $117 a month. Half the plans were Silver plans which have a possibility of cost sharing. (Cost Sharing is incredibly handy for lower income that use healthcare). We would not be surprised with the introduction of new plans in Chelan, Douglas and Grant Counties that the average price goes down in 2020.
The rates are only part of the good news for 2020.
|More Plans and Companies|
We have a new insurance carrier PacificSource Health Plans in Washington State. They are only in three counties with five plans. If you are in Clark, Pierce and Spokane then it is worth a look. It is a start in the right direction.
Ambetter by Coordinated Care is holding strong. They also have an amazing seven silver plans. This is one of the companies that we let the computer do the heavy lifting. If a person qualifies for Cost Sharing because of their income level then the plans change. Deductibles, Co-pays and Out of pocket maximums go down with lower income. There are 4 levels of cost sharing so that means for just Ambetter there is 35 plan combinations just for the Silver plans. When we talked with Ambetter they said that they wanted to focus on Network improvements. If you have preferred doctors then ask your broker if they are in network.
Bridgespan has expanded out of just Klickitat. In 2020 they will also be in Clark, King and Pierce Counties. They have 20 plans and 12 of them are bronze level so there will be plenty of questions to ask your broker.
Brokers’ commissions are built into the insurance company’s premiums. Not all insurance companies will pay commission. Not all insurance companies will pay during Special Enrollments. It is why we tell everyone to always select a no charge broker. For 1 minute of your time, you put money back into the community and build a small business resource that even your neighbor can use.
|Lower plan rates.|
Delta Dental was the big winner for Dental in 2019. One in five people with a qualified health plan selected Delta Dental. This was despite the big coverage change. Our household took a different approach to get better coverage. I had two crowns last year and I still have another $800 in coverage. A five minute talk with your broker over changes can solve a lot of headaches later.
Lifewise has gone from 12 to 33 counties, starting in 2020. LifeWise, which is a subsidiary of Premera is headed back into Chelan, Douglas, Grant, King, and more! They have six plans including two bronze plans and 1 catastrophic. We have had a ton of these requested over the years. They are high-deductible health plans for people under 30. These could be a great options if a person is healthy and money in the bank or has supplemental policies for accidents. Most Americans do not have $1000. This is why you have a discussion with your broker to review your options.
Molina Marketplace and Kaiser Permanente are doing well. Molina Marketplace has a 9.15% decrease and Kaiser Permanente is looking at 4.33%. The Kaiser Permanente that is being reference is the former Group Health plans as they have the largest footprint in the state for Kaiser.
If you have questions then do not hesitate to go to an enrollment center. You can get help there at no cost. We are open all year round to help out.
We run Suzie Health Solutions in Wenatchee. We run a Full Service Enrollment Center. We can be found on Facebook. We have online tools such as our appointment widget. Not only can you set an appointment, it will send you reminders! We also do events.
On Nov 2nd in the Wenatchee Community Center from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM we are running a Healthcare Enrollment Fair. We have invited Insurance Companies, Providers, Yoga people, etc. A person can enroll, ask questions, set appointments or just get door prizes. This will be our 6th Open Enrollment and are looking forward to it.