According to latest reports, the health insurance marketplace of South Dakota will be a costly affair. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has revealed that under the federal exchange, South Dakotans would have to pay more for insurance premiums than people in neighboring states.

The study has based its findings on the facts that have come out of a close analysis of rates that will prevail in South Dakota. For comparison, the report takes into account a family of 4 with a monthly income of $50,000. Analysis reveals that South Dakotans will have to pay $141 per month after subsidies and tax credits. This means that there is a gap of $46 per month as the national average hovers around $95 per month.

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Nebraska’s exchange, which will be the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM), will go live October 1, and they recently revealed the proposed rates that would be available on the exchange. Let’s take a look.

Sample Rates and Insurance Carriers Operating on Nebraska HIX

Four insurance carriers will be participating in the exchange and all will be offering individual and/or small business health insurance plans. While the rates that were released are not final, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, Coventry Health, CoOportunity, and Health Alliance Midwest, the participating carriers, will finalize their respective plans by October 1…

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The big day for health insurance marketplaces, October 1, is coming and Michiganians are looking forward to it. The view is that the exchange will bring better coverage, affordable health insurance and greater benefits. Expectations are running high and Michigan organizations are gearing up for the big day. So, how’s the preparation going? Let’s take a look.

The first, crucial step is to establish a marketplace with top insurance carriers who can provide affordable health insurance and a wide range of benefits. Fourteen health insurers submitted their plans and offerings, totaling approximately 170 plans, to the Michigan government for approval. The approval process is still underway and results are expected before the second week of September.

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Contrary to the plan of reducing health insurance premiums through health insurance marketplaces, it seems that Mississippi residents who purchase health insurance off exchanges might encounter higher premiums than the current market average. Pundits are claiming that the rise in insurance premiums can be attributed to the fact that only two insurance carriers will be participating in the exchange.

As of now, 54,000 uninsured residents will have the choice of Humana and Magnolia Health for their insurance needs. Preliminary calculations are showing the average premium at $312 for Magnolia and $302 for Humana. In defense of this estimation, Mississippi officials have pointed out certain imperative aspects of these insurance premiums.

1)    Increased Coverage and Better Quality – In light of the higher premiums, officials state that the increased coverage and better quality of provided insurance is going to offset the higher premiums. In a nutshell, the premiums would still be competitive according to today’s market standards.

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As the State of Washington gears up to launch its health insurance marketplace, Washington Healthplanfinder, it is facing the herculean task of signing up its uninsured population. By sheer numbers, Washington aims to insure 130,000 uninsured residents by the end of 2013, and nearly 280,000 citizens in 2014.

To achieve this goal, Washington must educate and disseminate information to residents who aren’t familiar with the marketplace. The state has decided to tackle this challenge by launching a campaign that will address all the means of communication and outreach with advertisements and promotions. The state has secured $26.3 million federal grant for such programs.

The campaign will include the following:

•    Online Advertisements The state has already started to run advertisements on Washington Healthplanfinder over popular networks, such as Google, Yahoo. The state hopes to reach insured and uninsured residents, so that people may educate each other about the program.

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The health insurance marketplaces are being setup to provide consumers with more options and more choices. The online marketplaces are intended to bring together insurance carriers and promote competition with the aim of driving costs down. When the insurance marketplace goes live on October 1, consumers will be able to choose from a variety of carriers and find a plan that fits their needs and budget. However, Hawaii residents will be dealing a less choice on the Hawaiian marketplace.

The Hawaii health insurance exchange, Hawaii Health Connector, will open with two carriers, Hawaii Medical Service Association and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. There is some concern that with only two carriers, there will be a spike in rates once the marketplace launches.  There are multiple reasons for this worrying lack of competition in the state.

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Colorado’s health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, is schedule and Colorado knows what’s coming on the October 1 launch – a deluge of new enrollments. Colorado is expecting about 150,000 residents to sign up for health insurance coverage during the first enrollment period. Some number crunching reveals a strenuous task – Colorado officials will have to enroll 800 applicants a day in the first six month enrollment period to meet this new demand for health insurance.

Surprisingly, this is just a glimpse into the mammoth task that awaits the state health insurance marketplace of Colorado. It is expected that this number will continue to multiply. Therefore, it becomes necessary for Colorado to devise a strategy and implement against the plan in order to control and handle this huge influx of enrollments. Fortunately, Colorado does have a plan.

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With the health insurance marketplace rollout deadlines nearing, New Mexico received a $18.6M federal grant for marketing and outreach to help market the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange.

The current state of affairs at New Mexico health insurance marketplace shows us some important numbers and facts that are going to influence the health of the exchange once it goes live.

•    New Mexico expects to enroll about 80,000 uninsured citizens by next year and hopes to increase this number to 211,000 by 2020.

•    The current setup of New Mexico Health Insurance Marketplace is a hybrid model. They are using the Federally Facilitated Marketplace for individuals but will use a state-based exchange for businesses.

•    The entire success of this scheme depends upon reaching the uninsured and getting them to enroll into the health insurance system. About 400,000 potential customers, which comprise of individuals and businesses, are they key here.

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Direct Enrollment gives payers the ability to offer consumers a one stop shop when shopping for health insurance plans – allowing them to check for subsidies and enroll without ever leaving the payer site.

Retaining Customers through Direct Enrollment

From the perspective of the insurance carriers, things look rosy. Insurance carriers can now focus on enhancing the online consumer experience as the impending problem of consumers jumping from payers sites to the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) has been nullified. Naturally, a potential customer getting all the necessary information in a simplified, intuitive portal wouldn’t want to be redirected to another portal. With a streamlined enrollment process, fundamental subsidy application and ancillary plans bundled, the majority of consumers should not jump off the payer’s site.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2003 & 2011, the healthcare sector created 2.67 million jobs. In comparison, rest of the U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs.

This post discusses how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is positively impacting the American economy, particularly in the healthcare sector, and why this trend will continue.

The Affordable Care Act seeks to make healthcare more affordable, streamlined and consumer-focused. However, the reforms have had another impact—job creation in the healthcare sector and related industries. As more people gain health insurance and patient care becomes more comprehensive, there will be a direct increase in demand, and jobs, across:
•    Real Estate: Clinical facilities
•    Manufacturing: Medical equipment, drugs
•    Industry personnel: Healthcare IT professionals

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