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Changes To Health Insurance This Year

There are a variety of changes to health insurance plans that have taken effect in 2020. Changes include everything from new states creating individual mandates to carriers offering new plans in new places. In order to provide customers with accurate information, you need to stay up-to-date on all of these changes. Here’s a look at what’s new for 2020. 

Premium Prices 

Health insurance premiums changed this year, as they do every year. Surprisingly, premiums increased only slightly in most states. In some states, such as Maryland and Wisconsin, premium prices have actually decreased.

Health Insurance Mandates 

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Some states still have their own individual mandate that people must have insurance or face a penalty.

Prior to 2019, the individual mandate meant that people had to have health insurance or face a financial penalty. An exemption was needed to avoid this penalty. When the mandate was repealed in 2019, many thought that fewer people would purchase health insurance. The opposite has actually been true: more people have been signing up for plans since the repeal in 2019. 

Some states still have their own individual mandates. People in these states who fail to sign up for insurance will need to qualify for an exemption if they want to avoid a penalty. States who currently have an individual mandate are:

  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Changes In Cost-Sharing

According to the CMS, cost-sharing amounts have changed for 2020. The changes are as follows,

  • Self-only affordability cut-off for employer plan coverage: Officials proposed increasing this limit from 8.3% to 8.39% of projected household income. In the final parameters document, the self-only affordability cut-off for employer plan coverage was set at 8.24%.
  • Maximum annual cost-sharing amount: Officials had proposed increasing this amount from $7,900 last year to $8,200 for self-only coverage, and from $15,800 to $16,400 for family coverage. In the end, CMS decided to set the maximum annual cost-sharing amount at $8,150 for self-only coverage, and at $16,300 for family coverage.

New Insurers In Town

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New insurers are expanding into more counties, offering people more options and possibilities.

The ACA has more marketplace options in more areas this year. Centene and Oscar 

Health have expanded into counties where they hadn’t previously offered plans. Blue plans, Cigna, and Anthem have also chosen to expand into new areas. 

Oscar will now cover individuals and families in 6 new states, and a total of 12 new markets. For its new individual markets, Oscar has expanded in Florida, offering plans in Miami, Tampa, Ocala and Daytona. Oscar is also offering plans for the first time in Philadelphia, Denver, Richmond, Atlanta, and the Kansas City metropolitan area across Missouri and Kansas. In Texas, Oscar will begin offering plans in Houston and expand its current options in Dallas-Fort Worth. Oscar is also expanding to serve many counties in Western Michigan.

Centene plans on expanding into 10 markets, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

Cigna announced they will be expanding in the federal health insurance marketplace, specifically 19 new markets (counties) in 10 states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. They are offering $0 preventive care, free telehealth services, and low-cost options for chronic disease management. This is a big deal for people that did not previously have this kind of coverage available to them.

About The Author: Cassandra Love

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