Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Affordable Health Care Act's Launch On October 1st––So How Did it Go?

Unavoidably, that will be the big question come Tuesday.

But there will be much more to it than that.

A 180-Day Open Enrollment––Not a One-Day Open Enrollment
What happens on the first day, for good or bad, will constitute only a tiny percentage of the open enrollment period. Consumers will likely visit the new websites many times before they make any decisions, and that is exactly as it should be.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Benefit Shock? Consumers Will Be Surrpised By What They Find on the New "Obamacare" Health Insurance Exchanges

Will we have rate shock?

It looks to me like consumers will have a choice when they get to look at the health plans available on the new "Obamacare" health insurance exchanges––rate shock or benefit shock.

While there has been lots of focus on the issue of rate shock, I will suggest that just as big an issue may well be benefit shock—that consumers will look at what they will be getting for their premium payments and that they will be surprised at what their out-of-pocket costs will be and before they get anything.

The following chart was prepared by Covered California, the state-run California exchange. This chart does not include specific California plan premiums. What it does show is the net of subsidy cost a single person would pay at the various income points for the second lowest cost Silver plan, as well as the deductibles and co-pays they can expect to see from the standard Silver plan.

Monday, September 16, 2013

So If the Maryland Health Insurance Rates Are So Cheap Why Did I Get This Postcard From Maryland Blue Cross?

That's what I wondered when I got this postcard; presumably sent to lots of people who live in Maryland:

In it, (click on card to enlarge) Maryland Blue Cross is telling me that; "I am invited to obtain a [health] plan right now with rates that may be significantly lower than reform-compliant plans [their emphasis]."

Are they suggesting there is rate shock coming?

I was surprised to get this card because the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange recently issued a report that said they would have among the lowest health insurance rates in the country once "Obamacare" goes live on October 1:
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