The benchmark 100% federal poverty level income for a single adult increased 3% from $12,140 in 2018 to $12,490 for 2019. The all important Covered California premium tax credit eligibility income (138% of the FPL) for a single adult increased from $16,754 for 2018 to $17,237 in 2019. This means a single adult now has to have an annual Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) of $17,237 to be eligible for Covered California if they apply for health insurance in 2019.
The Health Net PPO, not to be confused with the EnhancedCare PPO offered through Covered California, is the only plan that will give plan members access to both the Stanford doctors and hospital. These plans are only sold off-exchange or directly from Health Net. Plan enrollment is limited to certain regions and counties within California.
Health Net is making it easier to add adult dental and vision to their off-exchange plans. They call the added dental and vision benefits the Plus package. For the EnhancedCare PPO, PureCare EPO, and PPO plans the Plus package of dental and vision benefits is $14.42 per adult. The maximum dental benefit per year is $1,000. Instead of a member cost-sharing percentage these plans have a fee schedule. For example, a filling on one tooth would be $22.
The real looming threat is the loss of health plans participating in the IFP market. In 2017 three carriers dominated the market with 72% of the enrollments: Anthem Blue Cross 19%, Blue Shield 25%, Kaiser 28%. With the loss of Blue Cross in the major metropolitan markets such as the Bay Area and Southern California, two carriers, Blue Shield and Kaiser, are likely to command over 60% of the market place in 2018. If one of those two carriers determines that offering IFP plans is just too risky in 2018, it could lead to other carriers such as Health Net, Molina, or Oscar also pulling out of the market.
As the ACA open enrollment winds down, attention now turns to helping individuals and families in the new health plans actually get health care from their insurance. While there have been significant challenges just getting people signed up for health insurance, there will surely be additional hurdles as households now try to use the new health plans. For most people, they have no advocate to help them maneuver through the maze set up by health care professionals and insurance plans. Who will be the health insurance advocates for these families?
Health insurance plan premiums will be based on your age, location and the type of plan you choose. Insurance companies will not be able to increase your rates because of pre-existing conditions or gender.
The U.S. does a decent job of helping a variety of different groups of people get access and affordable healthcare through either insurance or direct aid. Folks in the middle are at the mercy of the market place.