Health Insurance Costs to Increase Significantly Under Affordable Care Act
Plans Filed with Department of Insurance Show Higher Costs for Ohio Consumers
COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Insurance today released details of health insurance plans that insurers have submitted for approval to sell on the coming federal insurance exchange for Ohio. The Department’s preliminary analysis of the proposed plans for the individual market reveal that insurers expect the cost to cover health care expenses for consumers will significantly increase.
Based on a report released by the Society of Actuaries earlier this year, the Department estimates this increase is an average of 88 percent. While those costs do not specifically track with the premiums insurers charge individual customers, it is expected that these increases in costs will also translate to significant premium increases for many Ohioans.
A total of 14 companies filed proposed rates for 214 different plans to the Department. Projected costs from the companies for providing coverage for the required essential health benefits ranged from $282.51 to $577.40 for individual health insurance plans.
“We have warned of these increases since a state-specific study in 2011 indicated Ohio would be significantly impacted by the ACA,” Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor said. “The Department’s initial analysis of the proposed rates show consumers will have fewer choices and pay much higher premiums for their health insurance starting in 2014.”
Estimates from a Society of Actuaries study released in 2013 showed Ohio’s current average cost to cover medical expenses for an individual health insurance plan is $223. Based on the proposals submitted to the Department, the average to cover those costs in 2014 is $420 representing an increase of 88 percent when compared to the Society of Actuaries study. The proposed rates are not effective and are currently undergoing the Department’s review process. During this process, rates may change before becoming effective.
The Department released the information today to help health insurance consumers continue to prepare for the expected price increases. Specific premium information varies widely and can be unique to each individual or employer, but it is hoped that the information on proposed costs and rates can help consumers and health insurance consultants determine how their particular situations will be impacted.
In 2010, the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes sweeping changes to America’s health insurance system, became law. It includes the creation of health care exchanges in which individuals and small business owners in every state can purchase qualified coverage. According to the federal government, initial open enrollment on the exchange is set to beginOctober 1, 2013. Coverage purchased through the exchange will have an effective date of January 1, 2014.
To learn more about the health care exchange visit www.healthcare.gov. Ohioans with questions about insurance can call the Department at 1-800-686-1526.
NOTE: Filings submitted to the Department can be found on the System for Electronic Rate and Form Filings on the Department’s site; http://insurance.ohio.gov/Company/Pages/RecordsRequest.aspx. To access the filings, click on the HFAI link. Click HERE for a Department fact sheet.