In early November we were to be in the busy process of matching uninsured people to new health plans, and helping current Individual market policy holders transition to those same plans. As you know, not much of this has gone as expected. So, one month after the planned opening of the Federal Marketplace, what do we know about 2014 plans and rates for Michigan residents?
What are we seeing with 2014 rates compared to 2013 rates?
In short, we find higher rates for 2014 plans compared to 2013 plans with similar deductibles. Or, if someone wants to keep his or her rate close to the 2013 rate, the deductibles will be significantly higher. For those of you not eligible for the Advance Tax Credit (subsidy), it’s bad news – you will pay 150-300% more for similar deductibles/out-of-pocket costs.
Yes, the 2014 plans have additional benefit, but you will need to be the judge as to whether those extras are worth the additional premium you pay. Our agency customers who will not receive a subsidy, or who are eligible for a small subsidy amount, are not happy. Many customers are choosing to purchase “grandfathered” 2013 plans that will help them avoid the costs of marketplace plans until the end of 2014.
Who is applying?
- Are we seeing current customers with cancelled individual plans shopping for new plans? YES
- Are we seeing people who are losing coverage because an employer is ending a group plan? NOT MANY
- Are we seeing people with pre-existing conditions / financial need who want coverage? YES
There is curiosity and demand from all types of people. We have agency customers who are not in the market for health insurance asking us about the Affordable Care Act to understand what is really happening. Some of these are in the over-65 age group, worried that the changes will impact their Medigap or Medicare Advantage programs.
How many people who are subsidy-eligible have applied through you for coverage?
ZERO. Michigan chose a federal partnership for its marketplace, and is dependent on the www.healthcare.gov web site. Until that site is functional, we cannot submit full applications for our customers. Stay tuned.
Answers to more of the questions above to come. For more information about Michigan health care plans for individuals, contact Greg Clay at 248.628.3604.