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Find Health Insurance Plans and Prices on the Marketplace Exchange – healthcare.gov Editor's Pick

Find individual health insurance plan options and prices at healthcare.gov. This is the ONLY health insurance site to use if you want (and qualify for) the federal subsidies for affordable health insurance AND your state participates in the federal marketplace exchange. Compare plans on monthly premium prices, deductibles, plan features and star quality ratings. The federal marketplace exchange shows Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum metal levels. It first opened for 2014. People who don’t get subsidies can also choose a plan and enroll at healthcare.gov. Open enrollment for everybody (except Medicare) between November 1 and December 15, 2020 for 2021. Select Preview Now if you just want to scan the plans before you create an account. At minimum, enter your age, or you may get false prices. If you lose coverage during the year, you may also qualify to enroll outside of the Nov.-Dec. open enrollment. Links are provided to your state marketplace if your state has its own health insurance website. Editor’s Pick.

Federal Exchange Marketplace Average Rate Changes for 2021 (CMS)

CMS reported average rate changes in health insurance premiums for 2021 on the federal exchange marketplace for two types of sample consumers – a 27 year old, and a family of four. The premium cost for the second-lowest cost silver plan is reported to be reduced by 2%, on average, for the 2021 enrollment currently underway. The healthcare.gov exchange opened on November 1, 2020. No information about average price hikes or reductions were presented for older consumers. Also not disclosed in the CMS press release, Oct. 19, 2020, is the increase in the size of deductibles.

According to CMS, the average silver plan premium for a 27 year old is expected to be $389 per month in 2020 and $379 in 2021. Older enrollees pay more, but costs for older consumers in 2021 were not disclosed in the press release. (For reference, the average premium paid by all enrollees in 2018 was $594.17, since the average enrollee is older than 27 years of age. AARP noted that a 2019 Kaiser Family Foundation report found that a 60-year-old not eligible for subsidies paid $708 a month for the lowest-cost bronze plan and $943 a month for the lowest-cost silver plan.) Open enrollment closes December 15, 2020.

Health Insurance Company Rate Increases for 2021 Editor's Pick

Preview the health insurance company rate increases for 2021. Healthcare.gov reports the rate requests and final (not yet posted) rate increase or decrease for Jan. 1, 2021, by name of health insurance plan for both Individual policies and Small Group enrollment. Health plans on – and off- the health insurance exchange. Search by state, and look for increases effective January 1, 2021. Updated for 2021.

Health Insurance Cost Projection: 7.3% Increase Projected for 2021

Health Insurance Costs for 2021 are projected to be up 7.3% in 2021 in the US according to a survey of employers. While the top 3 conditions (excluding maternity) in terms of cost, globally, are cancer, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal conditions, COVID-19 contributes 7% of the global cost estimates. Rates of increase are compared with Europe and across other world regions. Costs for 2020 in the US are not expected to be as depressed (as, say, in Canada) due to deferral of care. In Canada, 2020 costs were expected to be just a 0.13% increase over 2019. In the US, the 2020 cost was expected to come in at 7.24% higher than last year, then go up another 7.3% in 2021. Globally, 2020 costs were expected to be up 5.9% in 2020 and 8.1% in 2021. Global Medical Trends Survey is published by Willis Towers Watson, November 2020.

Impact of Covid on Insurance Rate Increases for 2021

What impact will COVID-19 have on health insurance rate increases for 2021? According to the American Academy of Actuaries, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new uncertainties into developing premium rates for 2021. As we know, and this issue brief points out, “For the first half of 2020, increased health spending due to the direct costs of diagnosing and treating COVID-19 appears to have been more than offset by a reduction in non-COVID-19 health services. It’s unknown how trends will continue through the rest of 2020.”  The actuaries did not hazard a guess about rate hikes. Gains and profits made in 2020 (and/or 2021) may be rebated to consumers, if necessary, based on the 3-year formula, instead of lowering 2021 health insurance rates. The report suggests that conservative insurance companies will play it safe and increase premiums as they deem prudent for 2021. Nine page Issue Brief: Drivers of 2021 Health Insurance Premium Changes: The Effects of COVID-19 was published June 2020 at actuary.org.

Medicare Advantage Plans Part C Premium Costs for 2021 (CMS)

CMS announced that the average Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) premium cost will decrease in 2021. There will be about 4,800 such plans for 2021 that are expected to enroll about 42 percent of Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare Advantage plan enrollment has been increasing in recent years as people switch from traditional Medicare. Plans vary widely by state and region. CMS estimates the average monthly rate will be $21 per month (plus what you will pay directly to Medicare for Part B). Medicare Advantage plans may or may not include Part D drug coverage. Read very carefully. For many consumers, there will be a $0 monthly premium. However, in all plans, there will be copays, deductibles, and out of pocket maximums to consider. At the end of the press release are links to actual premiums by name of health plans in each state. Press Release issued September 24, 2020.

Medicare Part B Premiums and Part A Deductibles for 2021

CMS announced the standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $148.50 (up $3.90) in 2021 for most recipients ($1,782 per year), with a $203 deductible (up $5). Part B premiums are up about 2.7% and the deductible is up about 2.5%. High income seniors will pay between $207.90 and $504.90 per month. CMS says about 7% of Medicare beneficiaries pay the high-income premiums for Part B. Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items. The Medicare Part A hospital insurance deductible will rise $76 (about 5%) to $1,484. Released Nov. 6, 2020.

Medicare Part D Drug Premium Costs for 2021

For 2021, the average basic Medicare Part D drug premium cost is expected to be about $30.50 per month, according to a CMS press release. However, CMS announced in a separate memo to drug plan sponsors, that the 2021 Part D base beneficiary premium is $33.06. Additionally, the Part D national average monthly bid amount from insurance companies for 2021 is $43.07. We were unable to reach CMS for clarification of the differing rates and which is most relevant to consumer experience. According to the press release, consumers who select a Part D “Senior Savings Model plan” will have insulin costs capped at a maximum $35 copay for a month’s prescription. Reported July 29, 2020.

National Business Group: Health costs expected to rise 5.3% in 2021

National Business Group on Health survey of large employers finds companies expect 5.3% increase on average in their 2021 health insurance plan premiums and costs. Despite the pandemic severely reducing medical care, employers are being cautious in planning for much of that care to be made up in 2021. Average total cost is expected to be $15,500 per employee, including both premiums and out of pocket costs. Actual costs have typically come in 0.7 to 1.4 percentage points lower than predicted. However, in 2020, actual costs are projected to come in at least 4% under what was expected. Employees are estimated to have a cost burden close to $4,700 per employee in 2022. Employers are planning for more virtual care, telehealth and telemental health care. Many are also reducing out of pockte costs for mental health, as pandemic-related emotional needs have risen. Released by the National Business Group on Health, August 2020.

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Factors Expected to Impact Health Insurance Premiums 2021 – AHIP

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) identifies factors that are expected to impact premium costs for individual plans in the Health Insurance marketplace for 2021. AHIP did not project increases for 2021. Instead, they identified aspects of COVID costs – such as testing, treatment, vaccine availability, how long the outbreak and pandemic lasts, how many people get sick, etc. Overall, there has been a large delay in “regular” care, which lowers insurance company costs. Some of that care is foregone, some will happen later, if there is capacity in healthcare systems to deliver it. For most insurance companies, 2020 is likely to be a profitable year. What happens in 2021 is yet to be seen. Published May 2020.

Find Health Insurance Plans and Prices on State-Based Marketplace Exchanges Editor's Pick

Find health insurance plans and prices in states that use the state-based marketplace exchanges, instead of the federal healthcare.gov marketplace. Here are the links for 14 states and DC. The federal subsidies still apply to these state exchanges: CA, CO, CT, Washington DC, ID, MD, MA, MN, NV, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT and Washington state.  The states will show Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum metal levels. Compare plans on monthly premium prices, deductibles, plan features and quality ratings. Open enrollment for everybody (except Medicare) between November 1 and December 15, 2020 for 2021. You may have to create an account before you can see the plan options. But each state will vary. If you lose coverage during the year, you may also qualify to enroll outside of the Nov.-Dec. open enrollment.

Health Insurance Company Rate Increases for 2021 Editor's Pick

Preview the health insurance company rate increases for 2021. Healthcare.gov reports the rate requests and final (not yet posted) rate increase or decrease for Jan. 1, 2021, by name of health insurance plan for both Individual policies and Small Group enrollment. Health plans on – and off- the health insurance exchange. Search by state, and look for increases effective January 1, 2021. Updated for 2021.

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