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By benefitlink92293438, Sep 6 2017 08:10PM

The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) just released their announcement for premium increases for the small group and individual health insurance plans. As we know, the individual market is the most turbulant. The average across all insurance companies and all counties is 26.7%. Anthem, Cigna and Colorado Choice are all close to 30%. Kaiser is coming in at 24%. Rocky Mountain is the lowest at 11%, but they are a very limited service area provider.

Small group fared much better. Average is 6.6%, but the spread is much larger in this market. Colorado Choice is the highest at 28%, Kaiser is the lowest at 3% and 6%. Anthem is 12.9% to 18%. Humana is coming in around 8% and United Healthcare is .5% to 6.9%.

According to the DOI there is only ONE CARRIER left in SHOP! SHOP is the small group platform available on the exchange, or Connect for Health Colorado. Another failure of ACA....

Hang on to your hat - it should be another interesting Open Enrollment season.

By benefitlink92293438, Sep 1 2017 08:28PM

HHS (Health and Human Services) announced advertising for ACA plans will be cut from $100 MILLION spent last year to a mere $10 MILLION for the upcoming Open Enrollment. I'm sorry, but I believe even at the $10 million dollar "slashed" budget is alot to spend to get 12.3 million enrolled. The various media sourcesare citing the current administrations disdain for Obamacare and this as another effort to undermine and sabatoge ACA. But, does spending 100 million to get 12 million enrolled seem like a good ROI? Even spending 10 million doesn't make sense.

Additionally funding for "Navigators" will also be cut. These are individuals employed by the exchanges or other non-profits to help a consumer enroll. They are not licensed agents therefore they cannot explain specifics on insurance policies, just help them with the enrollment process and subsidy applications. The navigator program is going from $62.5 million to $36.8 milllion. HHS stated navigators enrolled fewer than 82,000 people. When I do the math, that means they spent $762 for each enrolled member.. Last year According to HHS, one program received $200,000 and signed up one person . For the upcoming open enrollment navigators funding will be based its previous performance as a percetange of last years enrollment goal.

Meanwhile as a licensed agent/broker we are paid somewhere between $60 to $216 a year for an enrolled member.. For 2018, insurance companies are saying they are going to reduce our commissions even further or eliminate compensation to brokers alltogether. This is why we and many other brokers are no longer accepting new individual clients.

Read the full story from the AP http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/APFN_US_HEALTH_OVERHAUL_FUNDING_CUTS?SITE=AP&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

the Gazette's article: http://daily.gazette.com/Olive/ODN/TheGazette/default.aspx

Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trump-officials-slash-advertising-grants-to-help-americans-get-affordable-care-act-insurance/2017/08/31/e8a45386-8e8f-11e7-84c0-02cc069f2c37_story.html?utm_term=.f4c6fa35f725

By benefitlink92293438, Apr 18 2017 10:55PM

The individual health insurance market has been in turmoil the last several years. The ACA requirements have made it practically impossible for health insurers to sustain health coverage due to the unpredictable health plan losses.

CMS (The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) has issued the final Market Stabilization rule to help stabilize individual and small group markets and to help promote more choices in health plans.

Individuals and small groups have faced double-digit premium increases since the Affordable Care Act. There are fewer plans to choose from and a market that continues to be threatened by insurance issuer exits. The CMS rule is designed to provide some relief for patients and issuers.

The final rule made the following changes:

• 2018 Open Enrollment Period for Individual Plans: will start on November 1, 2017 and run through December 15, 2017. This will cause another kink in the bottleneck we currently see with so many group plans and Medicare plans renewing at the same time.

• Reduce Fraud, Waste, and Abuse: This will require individuals to submit supporting documentation for special enrollment periods. They should have been doing this all along.

• Promote Continuous Coverage: Allows insurance companies to require individuals to pay back past due premiums before enrolling into a plan with the same issuer the following year. This addresses one of the problems with individuals not paying after enrolling, but they should also shorten the time they can be late with their payment and still be covered. Currently individuals getting a subsidy have 3 month grace period. Carriers can pend claims after 30 days of non payment.

Ensure More Choices for Consumers: For the 2018 plan year and beyond, the final rule allows issuers additional actuarial value flexibility to develop more choices with lower premium options for consumers, and to continue offering existing plans.

• Empower States & Reduce Duplication: The final rule reduces waste of taxpayer dollars by eliminating duplicative review of network adequacy by the Federal Government. The rule returns oversight of network adequacy to states, which are best positioned to evaluate network adequacy.

Only time will tell if these minor changes will help stabilize the individual market.

By benefitlink92293438, Jul 26 2016 05:29PM

Rocky Mountain Health Plans just announced they are in the process of joining with United Healthcare. While there is not much detail in their announcement, it does state RMHP name will not change. They will continue to have their home office in Grand Junction and will continue to uphold the same mission and commitment to local communities, providers and members.

For 42 years Rocky Mountain has offered high quality health care coverage and service to Colorado employers and employees. RMHP believes the partnership will offer significant enhancements for current and future RMHP partners and members, including expanded access to state-of-the-art technology, as well as other nationally recognized innovations that can work to improve health outcomes, enhance the member experience, and make health care more affordable and accessible.

I hope that by joining forces with UHC, Rocky Mountain will be able to continue to offer the same quality of customer service while being able to utlize the strengths and resources that UHC can offer. It is unfortunately a sign of the times post ACA.

By benefitlink92293438, Jul 25 2016 08:35PM

Amendment 69, also known as ColoradoCare is a measure that will appear on the 2016 General Election in November 2016. It is a single-payer healthcare initiate whereby large tax increases would fund a government-run healthcare system. Amendment 69 would limit access to care and Coloradans would be paying the highest tax rate in the country. Learn more from ColoradansForColoradans.com a partisan non-profit, http://www.coloradansforcoloradans.com/

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