INDIVIDUAL MEDICAL PLANS - SIGNIFICANT PREMIUM INCREASES AND CARRIER CHANGES PROJECTED FOR 2017
On June 6, 2016 The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), released the preliminary 2017 individual health plans and premiums.
For the past few years individual policies have been less expensive than small group policies for certain plans. Because significant increases are projected in the individual market, we anticipate that individual premiums may now surpass the small group market. As a result, many small businesses – those with 2 or more employees - may want to consider moving to the small group market. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like us to help you compare your options.
The DOI confirmed that four insurance companies either will not offer or will significantly cut back individual plans next year. A new entrant into the Colorado market will sell plans in the individual market. In addition to the carrier changes, a number of companies currently offering individual plans are seeking significant premium increases for their 2017 individual plans.
PREMIUM INCREASE FOR THE INDIVIDUAL MARKET
Unlike the small group market, which appears to be relatively stable, the individual market is projecting significant premium increases. The carriers review what they pay out for health claims to doctors, hospitals and other providers in order to set appropriate premiums that will allow them to pay claims and remain in business. Commissioner Salazar stated that “In general, the companies have indicated that the people enrolled in individual plans have used more healthcare services and with greater frequency than anticipated”.
* Averaged over all individual plans a company proposes to sell, in all areas of Colorado where the company does business, for all ages.
UnitedHealthcare and Humana Insurance will not offer individual plans in 2017, which impacts approximately 20,000 consumers in Colorado.
Rocky Mountain Health Plans (RMHP) will reduce individual plan offerings, offering individual plans only in Mesa County. Approximately 10,000 people currently enrolled in an individual RMHP plan will have to find another plan for 2017.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will not offer its PPO individual plans for 2017, which impacts 62,310 people. Anthem will continue to offer HMO individual plans statewide.
All of these companies will continue to offer their small and large group plans for employers.
As other companies are leaving the market, a new entrant into the Colorado market, Bright Health Plans, will sell individual plans both on and off the exchange. “They are focusing on efficient delivery of quality care through a healthcare partner. This echoes what RMHP is doing through its Monument Health program, and what UnitedHealthcare is doing in other states with its subsidiary, Harken Health”, said Commissioner Salazar.