Health Insurance Roundup, January 17, 2019

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  • Kentucky health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-16 at 09:50For 2019, both insurers remained in the exchange, and Anthem has expanded their coverage area. The average rate hike was 19.4% for CareSource and 4.3% for Anthem. […]

  • Colorado health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange

    by Louise Norris on 2019-01-16 at 07:27Colorado has a state-run exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. Lawmakers in Colorado again rejected a bill to provide state-based premium subsidies to some enrollees, and a bill that would have created a state-based reinsurance program, although those bills stand a much better chance of passing if they’re reconsidered in 2019, as Democrats gained control of the Senate in the 2018 election. For […]

  • Maryland Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-15 at 13:16The number of Maryland residents with Medicare coverage surpassed one million as of April 2018. By November 2018, it stood at 1,014,267. That’s less than 17 percent of the state’s population, compared with a little more than 18 percent of the United States population enrolled in Medicare. […]

  • What’s the deadline to get coverage during Obamacare’s open enrollment period?

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-15 at 12:00Q. What is the deadline to enroll in health insurance coverage for 2019? A. In almost every state, open enrollment ended December 15, 2018 with all plans effective January 1, 2019. But most of the state-run exchanges with their own enrollment platforms extended their enrollment periods for 2019 coverage, and there are also extensions for some people affected by natural disasters in late 2018. […]

  • Alabama Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-14 at 23:161,026,654 Alabama residents were enrolled in Medicare as of November 2018. About 36 percent of Alabama Medicare beneficiaries have Medicare Advantage plans, while the rest are covered under Original Medicare. […]


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Health Insurance Roundup, January 16, 2019

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  • Maryland Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-15 at 13:16The number of Maryland residents with Medicare coverage surpassed one million as of April 2018. By November 2018, it stood at 1,014,267. That’s less than 17 percent of the state’s population, compared with a little more than 18 percent of the United States population enrolled in Medicare. […]

  • What’s the deadline to get coverage during Obamacare’s open enrollment period?

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-15 at 12:00Q. What is the deadline to enroll in health insurance coverage for 2019? A. In almost every state, open enrollment ended December 15, 2018 with all plans effective January 1, 2019. But most of the state-run exchanges with their own enrollment platforms extended their enrollment periods for 2019 coverage, and there are also extensions for some people affected by natural disasters in late 2018. […]

  • Alabama Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-14 at 23:161,026,654 Alabama residents were enrolled in Medicare as of November 2018. About 36 percent of Alabama Medicare beneficiaries have Medicare Advantage plans, while the rest are covered under Original Medicare. […]

  • Minnesota health insurance

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-14 at 05:26A guide to individual health insurance in Minnesota, including its marketplace, open enrollment dates, insurers, Medicaid expansion, short-term regulations and Medicare. […]

  • Minnesota health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-13 at 19:19Minnesota’s state-run exchange, MNsure, had four carriers offering plans for 2018, and all four are continuing to offer coverage for 2019. For the second year in a row, average premiums are decreasing, and the rate drop for 2019 is even more substantial than 2018’s average decrease. Reinsurance is a big part of the reason rates have stabilized, but they’d be even lower if the individual mandate […]


Health Insurance Roundup, January 15, 2019

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  • Alabama Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-14 at 23:161,026,654 Alabama residents were enrolled in Medicare as of November 2018. About 36 percent of Alabama Medicare beneficiaries have Medicare Advantage plans, while the rest are covered under Original Medicare. […]

  • Minnesota health insurance

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-14 at 05:26A guide to individual health insurance in Minnesota, including its marketplace, open enrollment dates, insurers, Medicaid expansion, short-term regulations and Medicare. […]

  • Minnesota health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-13 at 19:19Minnesota’s state-run exchange, MNsure, had four carriers offering plans for 2018, and all four are continuing to offer coverage for 2019. For the second year in a row, average premiums are decreasing, and the rate drop for 2019 is even more substantial than 2018’s average decrease. Reinsurance is a big part of the reason rates have stabilized, but they’d be even lower if the individual mandate […]

  • Kansas Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-11 at 23:16524,635 Kansas residents were enrolled in Medicare as of November 2018. Medicare Advantage enrollment in the state is lower than average, and Kansas guarantees access to Medigap plans for disabled enrollees under the age of 65. […]

  • Alaska Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-11 at 13:16Fewer than 100,000 Alaska residents are enrolled in Medicare — only about 13% of the population, as opposed to more than 18% nationwide There are no Medicare Advantage plans for sale in Alaska 13 private insurers offer Medigap plans in Alaska, and the state’s high-risk pool offers Medigap coverage to those who aren’t eligible for private […]


Health Insurance Roundup, January 14, 2019

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  • Kansas Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-11 at 23:16524,635 Kansas residents were enrolled in Medicare as of November 2018. Medicare Advantage enrollment in the state is lower than average, and Kansas guarantees access to Medigap plans for disabled enrollees under the age of 65. […]

  • Alaska Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-11 at 13:16Fewer than 100,000 Alaska residents are enrolled in Medicare — only about 13% of the population, as opposed to more than 18% nationwide There are no Medicare Advantage plans for sale in Alaska 13 private insurers offer Medigap plans in Alaska, and the state’s high-risk pool offers Medigap coverage to those who aren’t eligible for private […]

  • Hawaii Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-10 at 16:16Hawaii has nearly 268,000 Medicare beneficiaries. The majority have Original Medicare, but 45 percent are covered by Medicare Advantage plans, which is higher than the national average. Hawaii law ensures that enrollees under the age of 65 have full access to Medigap plans without medical underwriting. […]

  • Texas and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-10 at 15:40Texas has not expanded Medicaid under the ACA. And they also have the most stringent eligibility guidelines in the country for non-disabled adults. As a result, Texas has the highest uninsured rate and the biggest coverage gap in the country, with at least 638,000 residents — and possibly as many as 1 million — ineligible for Medicaid and also ineligible for premium subsidies to […]


Health Insurance Roundup, January 11, 2019

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  • Hawaii Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-10 at 16:16Hawaii has nearly 268,000 Medicare beneficiaries. The majority have Original Medicare, but 45 percent are covered by Medicare Advantage plans, which is higher than the national average. Hawaii law ensures that enrollees under the age of 65 have full access to Medigap plans without medical underwriting. […]

  • New Jersey Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-08 at 23:161,587,952 New Jersey residents were enrolled in Medicare as of November 2018. Medicare Advantage enrollment is lower than average in New Jersey, and the state ensures access to Medigap Plan C for enrollees who are under the age of 65. […]

  • Short-term health insurance in Washington State

    by Steve Anderson on 2019-01-08 at 13:15Washington’s new rule limiting short-term plans to three months took effect in January 2019, and no insurers are selling short-term plans in the state as of early 2019. If and when plans are again for sale, the new regulations prohibit renewals and prevent the sale of a short-term plan to anyone who has had three months of short-term coverage in the past 12 months. […]

  • Delaware health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-08 at 07:46Highmark continues to be the only insurer in the Delaware exchange in 2019. The cost of CSR was added to premiums for all plans in 2018, but Highmark added the cost of CSR only to silver plan rates for 2019. Average rates increased by just 3 percent in 2019. […]

  • Short-term health insurance in Mississippi

    by Steve Anderson on 2019-01-08 at 06:14Mississippi defaults to the federal rules for short-term health insurance plans. Plans can have initial terms of up to 364 days, and total duration – including renewals – of up to 36 months. […]


Health Insurance Roundup, January 10, 2019

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  • New Jersey Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-08 at 23:161,587,952 New Jersey residents were enrolled in Medicare as of November 2018. Medicare Advantage enrollment is lower than average in New Jersey, and the state has strong consumer protections for Medigap enrollees who are under the age of 65. […]

  • Short-term health insurance in Washington State

    by Steve Anderson on 2019-01-08 at 13:15Washington’s new rule limiting short-term plans to three months took effect in January 2019, and no insurers are selling short-term plans in the state as of early 2019. If and when plans are again for sale, the new regulations prohibit renewals and prevent the sale of a short-term plan to anyone who has had three months of short-term coverage in the past 12 months. […]

  • Delaware health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-08 at 07:46Highmark continues to be the only insurer in the Delaware exchange in 2019. The cost of CSR was added to premiums for all plans in 2018, but Highmark added the cost of CSR only to silver plan rates for 2019. Average rates increased by just 3 percent in 2019. […]

  • Short-term health insurance in Mississippi

    by Steve Anderson on 2019-01-08 at 06:14Mississippi defaults to the federal rules for short-term health insurance plans. Plans can have initial terms of up to 364 days, and total duration – including renewals – of up to 36 months. […]

  • Short-term health insurance in California

    by Steve Anderson on 2019-01-08 at 00:04California enacted legislation that prohibits the sale of short-term plans starting in 2019. Prior to 2019, state regulations limit short-term plans to a term of 185 days, but the last day to buy those plans was December 31, 2018. […]


Health Insurance Roundup, January 9, 2019

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  • Short-term health insurance in Washington State

    by Steve Anderson on 2019-01-08 at 13:15Washington’s new rule limiting short-term plans to three months took effect in January 2019, and no insurers are selling short-term plans in the state as of early 2019. If and when plans are again for sale, the new regulations prohibit renewals and prevent the sale of a short-term plan to anyone who has had three months of short-term coverage in the past 12 months. […]

  • Short-term health insurance in Mississippi

    by Steve Anderson on 2019-01-08 at 06:14Mississippi defaults to the federal rules for short-term health insurance plans. Plans can have initial terms of up to 364 days, and total duration – including renewals – of up to 36 months. […]

  • Short-term health insurance in California

    by Steve Anderson on 2019-01-08 at 00:04California enacted legislation that prohibits the sale of short-term plans starting in 2019. Prior to 2019, state regulations limit short-term plans to a term of 185 days, but the last day to buy those plans was December 31, 2018. […]

  • Missouri Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-07 at 23:16Missouri has strong consumer protections for Medigap, with guaranteed access to beneficiaries who are under age 65, and an annual window during which enrollees can switch to a different plan (at the same benefit level) without medical underwriting. […]

  • Short-term health insurance in Kentucky

    by Steve Anderson on 2019-01-07 at 06:07Kentucky defaults to federal rules on short-term health insurance plans. New federal rules allow initial terms up to 364 days and total duration of up to three years. Kentucky is considering additional regulations for short-term plans. At least seven insurers offer short-term plans in Kentucky. […]


Health Insurance Roundup, January 8, 2019

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  • Obamacare’s essential health benefits

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-03 at 17:20Since 2014, all individual health insurance sold in and out of the ACA’s exchanges – whether to individuals or to small firms with fewer than 100 employees – have had to cover what physicians and consumer advocates call essential health benefits. […]

  • Maine and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion

    by Louise Norris on 2019-01-03 at 17:18Former Gov. Paul LePage vetoed Medicaid expansion in Maine five times, so proponents of expansion took the issue to voters. A ballot initiative to expand Medicaid passed decisively in the November 2017 election, requiring Maine to expand Medicaid by July 2, 2018. But LePage has blocked implementation at every turn, and a legal battle ensued throughout 2018. Governor Janet Mills took office on […]

  • CO-OP health plans: patients’ interests first

    by Louise Norris on 2019-01-03 at 14:49As of early 2019, only four of the original 23 CO-OPs were still operational. The other CO-OPs have failed for a variety of reasons, including premiums that were too low and the unexpected loss of federal funding that was retroactively eliminated. But the remaining CO-OPs have either decreased rates for 2019, or implemented only very modest price increases, indicating improved stability. […]

  • What’s the deadline to get coverage during Obamacare’s open enrollment period?

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-03 at 12:00Q. What is the deadline to enroll in health insurance coverage for 2019? A. In almost every state, open enrollment ended December 15, 2018 with all plans effective January 1, 2019. But most of the state-run exchanges with their own enrollment platforms extended their enrollment periods for 2019 coverage, and there are also extensions for some people affected by natural disasters in late 2018. […]

  • Wisconsin health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-03 at 07:59Wisconsin’s exchange remains among the most robust in the country, with 12 insurers offering plans. The state is implementing a reinsurance program that uses federal pass-through funding, and premiums decreased in 2019 as a result. Governor-elect Tony Evers is pushing for Medicaid expansion and even “BadgerCare for All.” […]


Health Insurance Roundup, January 7, 2019

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  • Obamacare’s essential health benefits

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-03 at 17:20Since 2014, all individual health insurance sold in and out of the ACA’s exchanges – whether to individuals or to small firms with fewer than 100 employees – have had to cover what physicians and consumer advocates call essential health benefits. […]

  • Maine and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion

    by Louise Norris on 2019-01-03 at 17:18Former Gov. Paul LePage vetoed Medicaid expansion in Maine five times, so proponents of expansion took the issue to voters. A ballot initiative to expand Medicaid passed decisively in the November 2017 election, requiring Maine to expand Medicaid by July 2, 2018. But LePage has blocked implementation at every turn, and a legal battle ensued throughout 2018. Governor Janet Mills took office on […]

  • CO-OP health plans: patients’ interests first

    by Louise Norris on 2019-01-03 at 14:49As of early 2019, only four of the original 23 CO-OPs were still operational. The other CO-OPs have failed for a variety of reasons, including premiums that were too low and the unexpected loss of federal funding that was retroactively eliminated. But the remaining CO-OPs have either decreased rates for 2019, or implemented only very modest price increases, indicating improved stability. […]

  • What’s the deadline to get coverage during Obamacare’s open enrollment period?

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-03 at 12:00Q. What is the deadline to enroll in health insurance coverage for 2019? A. In almost every state, open enrollment ended December 15, 2018 with all plans effective January 1, 2019. But most of the state-run exchanges with their own enrollment platforms extended their enrollment periods for 2019 coverage, and there are also extensions for some people affected by natural disasters in late 2018. […]

  • Wisconsin health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-03 at 07:59Wisconsin’s exchange remains among the most robust in the country, with 12 insurers offering plans. The state is implementing a reinsurance program that uses federal pass-through funding, and premiums decreased in 2019 as a result. Governor-elect Tony Evers is pushing for Medicaid expansion and even “BadgerCare for All.” […]


Health Insurance Roundup, January 4, 2019

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  • Maine and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion

    by Louise Norris on 2019-01-03 at 17:18Former Gov. Paul LePage vetoed Medicaid expansion in Maine five times, so proponents of expansion took the issue to voters. A ballot initiative to expand Medicaid passed decisively in the November 2017 election, requiring Maine to expand Medicaid by July 2, 2018. But LePage has blocked implementation at every turn, and a legal battle ensued throughout 2018. Governor Janet Mills took office on […]

  • CO-OP health plans: patients’ interests first

    by Louise Norris on 2019-01-03 at 14:49As of early 2019, only four of the original 23 CO-OPs were still operational. The other CO-OPs have failed for a variety of reasons, including premiums that were too low and the unexpected loss of federal funding that was retroactively eliminated. But the remaining CO-OPs have either decreased rates for 2019, or implemented only very modest price increases, indicating improved stability. […]

  • What’s the deadline to get coverage during Obamacare’s open enrollment period?

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-03 at 12:00Q. What is the deadline to enroll in health insurance coverage for 2019? A. In almost every state, open enrollment ended December 15, 2018 with all plans effective January 1, 2019. But most of the state-run exchanges with their own enrollment platforms extended their enrollment periods for 2019 coverage, and there are also extensions for some people affected by natural disasters in late 2018. […]

  • Florida Medicare content

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-02 at 13:16Florida had more than 4.4 million residents enrolled in Medicare as of late 2018. Of those enrollees, 42 percent are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, a very small number are enrolled in Medicare Cost plans, and the rest have Original Medicare coverage. […]

  • Ohio health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange

    by Michael Rickard on 2019-01-02 at 07:01Anthem is rejoining Ohio’s exchange in 25 counties for 2019, and Oscar is expanding into Columbus. Average rate increase for 2019 is 6.3%, but the average benchmark plan rate increase is 3%, so enrollees may need to shop around to avoid a net (after-subsidy) increase in premiums. […]